Scotland today launched its Zero Waste Plan, an initiative to tackle the near 20 million tonnes of waste produced by the country each year.
The government wants 70% of all waste to be recycled by 2025, with a maximum of of 5% being sent to landfill.
The Zero Waste Plan introduces radical new measures, including landfill bans for specific waste types, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and capturing their value, and separate collections of specific waste, including food, to avoid contaminating other materials.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead today said: “Scotland is embarking on the zero waste journey to protect our environment and help our economy. We can’t go on as business as usual because we can’t afford to and because resources are finite.
“In recent years, the people of Scotland have made substantial progress in cutting waste but households, businesses and wider society still produces enough waste to fill an Olympic size swimming pool every ten minutes. Even when it comes to food, every home on average throws out £430 worth every year. Six million tonnes of the waste we generates ends up in landfill.
He added: “This is a call for action from every individual and sector to do what they can. Scotland can be a cleaner, greener place to live with a thriving low carbon economy, and we must all work together to make it happen. I urge every Scot whether at home, out and about or in the workplace to join the journey to a zero waste Scotland.”
Alison Hay, Regeneration and Sustainable Development spokesperson at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said: “Household waste, can no longer just be dumped in holes in the ground. We need to continue and accelerate waste being separated by householders and build upon the existing good work by Scottish local authorities.”
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Zero Waste is no longer an aspiration; it is a necessity for the future economic and environmental prosperity of Scotland.”