Scottish Government: Scotland’s Draft Circular Economy and Waste Route Map to 2030 – Consultation

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Through this consultation we set out our proposals for the Circular Economy and Waste Route Map to 2030, our strategic plan to deliver Scotland’s sustainable resource and circular economy ambitions to 2030.  

It is designed to drive progress on three key fronts:

  1. Setting the strategic direction and laying foundations for how we will deliver our system-wide, comprehensive vision for Scotland’s circular economy from now to 2030 – based on Responsible Production, Responsible Consumption, and Maximising Value from Waste and Energy.
  2. Setting out priority actions from now to 2030 to accelerate more sustainable use of our resources across the waste hierarchy. We acknowledge the progress we have made against our existing 2025 waste reduction and recycling targets, the areas we have fallen short, and the lessons we can learn as we set out the framework for what comes next.
  3. Reducing emissions associated with resources and waste. In 2024, the Scottish Government will set out how it will continue to drive down emissions in a draft Climate Change Plan (CCP). The Route Map sets out the opportunities we will take to decarbonise the waste sector.

This consultation is an important milestone to ensure we have the right priorities to drive delivery of a circular economy in Scotland through to 2030, before the Route map is finalised. We are seeking your views on its proposed priorities and further actions to 2030. 

Read the consultation paper

In 2022 we set out a range of proposals across the resources and waste system through our Route Map consultation. The consultation sought your views on the feasibility and ambition of these proposals. Earlier in 2023, we published the analysis of responses to this consultation.

This draft Route Map reflects these findings, alongside further complementary research and updated impact assessments. It responds directly to feedback from the first consultation, prioritising and focusing on the key actions that will unlock progress across the waste hierarchy, outlining how we will deliver and coordinate these actions to achieve maximum positive impact for communities and businesses in Scotland.

Why your views matter

This consultation invites views on the proposed priorities to accelerate more sustainable use of our resources, support delivery of a circular economy to 2030, and reduce emissions associated with resources and waste.

It outlines what we intend to do, by when, and how we will work with others, to drive sustainable use and management of our resources, and delivery of Scotland’s circular economy up to 2030. It is aimed at everyone who has a role to play: the people and communities of Scotland, businesses, the third sector and the public sector, including local government. The direction and actions set out in this Route Map are complemented by the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill and its provisions. The Bill will primarily create enabling powers that will set a framework for taking action into the future.

Strategic aims and priority actions

The Route Map measures are grouped under four strategic aims, which reflect the span of the waste hierarchy:

  • Reduce and reuse
  • Modernise recycling
  • Decarbonise disposal
  • Strengthen the circular economy  

In this consultation, you will be asked to what extent you agree with the proposed priority actions outlined within the Route Map under each of these strategic aims. This prioritisation is based on a review of the evidence, including feedback from the previous consultation, and the potential role of the priority actions in driving progress to 2030.

You will also be asked to what extent you agree with the further actions we will seek to take to 2030. These actions are designed to complement the priority actions. In some cases they support delivery of the priority actions, while in other cases they will build on the priority actions.

This consultation is set out in two parts:

Read the consultation paper

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to ‘Save and come back later’ at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don’t use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the ‘About You’ page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

An analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).


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