Scotland Sets Ambitious ‘Zero-Waste Society’ Goal

This is something that I wish the United States would adopt, a goal for a zero-waste society. But we cannot get public healthcare in the United States. I’m visiting Scotland for the first time in a few weeks. I hope to find some enthusiasm for a zero-waste society.

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By James Murray Published August 25, 2009

EDINBURGH, — [Editor’s note: this article originally appeard on BusinessGreen and is reprinted with permission.]

The Scottish government could ban recyclable materials such as glass, metals, textiles and wood from being sent to landfill, under new plans designed to help Scotland meet its goal of becoming one of the world’s first “zero-waste societies.”

The proposals, which would effectively extend the ban on sending hazardous waste to landfill to cover several new materials, feature in a new draft plan that was published yesterday and is now subject to a 12-week consultation period.

The plan also includes proposals for new incentives to encourage businesses to increase recycling rates, increased investment in recycling facilities and collection facilities, the creation of 2,000 new jobs in the waste and recycling industries, and the introduction of new targets for material re-use as well as recycling.

Environment secretary Richard Lochhead said the new plan would require a shift in the way that businesses and households regard waste. “This is a positive step in tackling Scotland’s waste — viewing it as a resource rather than a problem,” he said. “There are major economic benefits, as well as environmental gains, to be had, including creating thousands of jobs and new business opportunities.”

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Stephanie said,

    I think that this is definitely something that the US should strive for. It’s on our radar, and so many other countries and cities around the world are moving forward with the zero-waste concept successfully. This video talks a little bit more about the concept and what it entails.

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