Circular Communities Scotland welcomes Scottish Government’s launch of the consultation for the Scottish Circular Economy Bill.

On Friday March 11th Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Ms. Lorna Slater, announced the launch of the consultation at Circular Communities Scotland member Fresh Start’s premises in Edinburgh, joined by our CEO Michael Cook.

Postponed in April 2020 due to the pandemic, the announcement of this consultation has been long awaited by our sector and we are delighted to be part of its launch.

Circular Communities Scotland has worked to influence policy makers and government representatives over the past 3 years to call for a strong and ambitious Circular Economy Bill, and are pleased that the bill has been strengthened to include a ban on the destruction of durable products, a specific ask that we named in our 2021 Impact Report ‘Embracing a Circular Future’.

Currently, companies from across a range of manufacturing and sales industries are permitted to throw away excess, unsold items, from fashion to electronics, toys and household goods. This outdated practice puts unnecessary pressure on our planet’s finite resources.

This addition to the bill will mean items that were once destined for landfill or incineration can be repurposed and used for social good, through the likes of our members, who work in reuse, repair and recycling in the third sector in Scotland, providing social and environmental justice for their local communities.

Circular Communities Scotland CEO Michael Cook says:

‘Most of us are very conscious of the global imperative to look after our planet but we still have a long way to go when it comes to adopting practices that will really make a difference.

We are, therefore, delighted with the news of this consultation for the Circular Economy Bill. Our organisation has been campaigning for some time to ask the Scottish Government to ban companies destroying products which could easily be repurposed.

Circular Communities Scotland represents a range of impressive charities and social enterprises providing a whole variety of creative alternatives for materials considered waste or surplus. You would be amazed at the variety of initiatives for repairing and recycling goods, many of which go to people living in poverty. Moreover, the organisations themselves often provide work for people who might be unemployed and/or have additional support needs. It’s a win-win situation.’

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater says:

“It is absolutely senseless for perfectly good products to end up in landfill. Rather than being wasted in landfill or incinerated, they should be reused or repurposed.
Organisations like Fresh Start show that there is a real need for items like these, and with the cost of living increasing this need is growing rapidly.

“We are living in a climate emergency. When goods go to landfill without having even been used once, we don’t just waste the product – we also waste all the energy and raw materials that went into making it.

“This proposal is a direct response to the public concerns about what happens to items that go unsold. By pursuing a ban, we can make sure they make it into the hands of those that need them, and help Scotland reduce its carbon footprint.

“This is the sort of action that’s needed to create a circular economy and shows the level of ambition that will be contained in our proposals in May.”

We are delighted that Scottish Government are moving forward with the Circular Economy and will work with them to ensure the bill is as strong and ambitious as possible.

We’d finally like to thank member Fresh Start for hosting the launch and for their inspiring work in the sector.

If you’d like to know more about our policy asks or wish to speak to our team, email