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Zero Waste Plan unveiled

Scotland’s first ever Zero Waste Plan was unveiled today. The draft plan details the steps Scotland needs to take on the journey towards a Zero Waste society. It proposes a number of ambitious approaches to reduce waste, increase recycling and send less waste to landfill, including:

* The potential creation of 2,000 jobs through collection, sorting, reprocessing and treating waste
* Encouraging businesses to reduce waste, increase their recycling of commercial waste and to realise the economic benefits of doing so
* The possible implementation of further landfill bans on materials including glass, metals, textiles and wood
* Improvements to recycling facilities in public places and more kerbside recycling
* Increasing the focus on re-use, including potential targets

Launching a 12-week consultation on the plan in Inverness, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, said:

"Scotland must reduce its impact on the local and global environment. Our draft Zero Waste Plan maps out how we can reduce the country’s waste, meet our highly ambitious waste targets and contribute to the work on climate change.

"This is a positive step in tackling Scotland’s waste – viewing it as a resource rather than a problem. There are major economic benefits, as well as environmental gains, to be had including creating thousands of jobs and new business opportunities.

"We all have a part to play in meeting this vision, including the construction industry which contributes around 45 per cent of Scotland’s waste. Reducing waste is good for business, as well as for the environment, as it reduces costs. We need to do more to tackle all types of commercial waste.

"The Scottish Government has already signed a commitment to halve its construction waste to landfill by 2012. I am happy to announce that the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations is also today pledging to do the same. I would urge others involved in construction projects to do the same.

"We are making progress but we must go further in relation to all types of waste. SEPA’s latest provisional figures show that we are already recycling and composting 34.3 per cent of our municipal waste, but we need to reach 40 per cent by the end of 2010. The bar is set and we must work together to reach our goal of a Zero Waste Scotland."

Kenny Boag, SEPA’s National Waste Policy Unit Manager, said:

"We have been pleased to have had the opportunity to work closely with the Scottish Government in relation to this draft Plan. There are a number of key tasks for SEPA which will help deliver the final Plan. These include helping to develop a supportive and proportionate system of waste regulation; working closely with our partners in the waste industry and Government to make further improvements to data on commercial and industrial waste; and helping to ensure that the planning system works effectively when it deals with waste management."

Councillor John Laing, Chairman of the Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee, for Highland Council, said:

"We are delighted the Cabinet Secretary has launched this ambitious plan in Inverness. Highland Council is committed to improving its recycling rates and we aim to reach a recycling rate of 50 per cent by 2013. We welcome a Zero Waste Plan and hope all will make the most of this consultation phase and have their say."

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