A circular economy
In a circular economy, resources are used as efficiently as possible and kept in circulation for as long as possible. Products should be designed to last and to be repaired or reused if possible, while landfill and incineration should be reduced or eliminated. The circular economy has the potential to protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create healthier communities.
Efficient recycling is an important part of this thinking, especially for products designed to be used once and then discarded. It’s time to challenge how we view waste, and to start seeing the materials we use as valuable assets.
The thousands of drinks containers that are dropped as litter or go to landfill are an excellent example. They could be used to make new containers much more efficiently, or to make other plastic products, but to get the most out of our empties requires very reliable sorting. Even kerbside recycling isn’t great at doing that.
A deposit return system is the most efficient way to recover cans and bottles. As already happens elsewhere, it would make high-quality and valuable raw materials available to manufacturing businesses in Scotland, helping to create green jobs and build an economy for the long term.