Plans for a zero waste Scotland, including tough new targets to increase recycling and reduce landfill, were outlined today.

In a statement to Parliament, as well as announcing that £7.5 million is to be invested in community recycling projects over the next three years, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead proposed to consult on new targets including: the amount of municipal waste being recycled or composted is to be increased to 60 per cent by 2020 and a new target of 70 per cent by 2025 landfill from municipal waste is to be reduced to five per cent by 2025; and -no more than 25 per cent of municipal waste is to be used to generate energy by 2025 and large, inefficient incinerators are to be rejected; and -keeping the existing challenging target of stopping the growth in municipal waste by 2010

Mr Lochhead said: "Dealing with waste sustainably is fundamental to the future of Scotland and the future of the planet. Our performance on waste has improved considerably in recent months with notable progress on recycling and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

"However, there is much more we need to do if we are to truly make a difference locally and globally and today we are setting out our new waste policy to make Scotland greener and a world-leader on waste management. "I am determined to increase the focus on waste prevention and am committed to the existing challenging target of stopping the growth in municipal waste by 2010. Householders can play a part by home composting, rejecting junk mail, re-using carrier bags and avoiding food waste.

"Retailers also have key responsibilities in this area such as reducing packaging, working with Government on reducing the unnecessary use of plastic bags and encouraging their suppliers to prepare products which minimise waste and can be recycled. "Central to our waste policy are our tough targets on cutting landfill and increasing recycling. A commitment to recycle more is one of the pledges we have asked people to make in the Greener Scotland campaign launched earlier this month. Individuals have a responsibility to recycle waste where they can.

"To make it easier for people to recycle and to help us achieve our ambitious recycling target, I am making #2.5 million available for each of the next three years to support community recycling projects. I also want to encourage Scotland to view recycling and waste management as more of a business opportunity to reduce reliance on grants in the years ahead. "But individuals can only do so much. Businesses must also give greater consideration to the impact of their actions and I want to see a much bigger focus on reducing commercial and industrial waste.

"I also acknowledge that there is a role for energy from waste that is compatible with sustainable development, as well as our energy and climate change policies. However, the Government is rejecting the need for large, inefficient, 'white elephant' incinerators.

"Last month's report on energy from waste from the Sustainable Development Commission supported the use of smaller, more efficient plants such as combined heat and power plants or district heating. "I will be consulting on our waste policy as we develop a new National Waste Management Plan for Scotland over the coming year.

"As part of that process I am setting up a new Zero Waste Think Tank to ensure that Scotland benefits from the best possible expertise as we move towards a zero waste society."


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