Scotland moves to standardise recycling systems

Scottish Government and COSLA announce agreement on new consistent recycling systems across Scotland.


“Where does this go?” The new Household Recycling Charter will sweep away the confusion associated with having to learn about different recycling systems, said Richard Lochhead of the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead was joined by COSLA spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, Councillor Stephen Hagan, on 9 December to announce a new consistent approach to recycling in Scotland.
The new Household Recycling Charter and associated Code of Practice will see local authorities begin to introduce standardised household recycling throughout Scotland. It will make it easier for people to recycle, improve the quality of recycling and help local communities reap the benefits of a more circular economy, said Lochhead.
Among the measures will be a new three-stream recycling system, which will include one container for glass, one for paper and card, and one for metals and plastics, together with existing food waste and residual collections. Over time, the intention is to move to a common colour system.

An end to confusion?
Richard Lochhead said: “This new consistent approach will sweep away the confusion that we all face every time we come across yet another difficult recycling system. It will maximise the quantity and quality of materials captured, and allow us to give consistent national messages about what people should do with their recycling, wherever they are in Scotland.
“This work has been undertaken in collaboration with COSLA, and I congratulate local authorities in taking the initiative with the development of this charter, and working together to deliver a good outcome for all Councils and, ultimately, for Scotland.
“This is a huge opportunity for Scotland, and as I set out in my circular economy consultation, I intend to align Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland support for recycling with the Scottish Household Recycling Charter.”
Councils can sign up to the voluntary Charter from January. After signing the charter they will receive support from Zero Waste Scotland in developing plans to introduce the new system.

Stakeholder support
The initiative is also supported the by waste management sector, packaging companies, drinks companies, retailers and the third sector.
The Packaging Recycling Group Scotland (PRGS), consisting of 34 leading food and drink companies and industry bodies, aims to support the Recycling Charter and work with the Scottish Government, local authorities and key stakeholders to achieve ambitious recycling targets.
Jane Bickerstaffe, spokesperson for The Packaging Recycling Group Scotland, said: “PRGS welcomes the decision of the Scottish Government and COSLA to work together and build on the success of current recycling systems.
“Through working in partnership, the Household Recycling Charter will bring Scotland a step closer to becoming a leader in sustainability. We believe that strengthening and integrating current recycling systems is the most effective way to boost recycling rates throughout the country.

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