Despite changes to vital climate legislation and the ending of the Bute House Agreement in Scotland, Circular Communities Scotland is still Calling for a Strong and Ambitious Circular Economy Billon behalf of our members.

We are concerned that the failure to uphold climate targets might be replayed with other legislation and issues directly relevant to the circular communities sector, such as Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill.

We will continue to work to help ensure the Scottish Government is held to account to deliver on long term goals related to climate and circularity.

Circular Communities Scotland is calling for the Scottish Government to make clear their intention to progress the strongest possible Circular Economy Bill, which has the potential to create meaningful environmental and social benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, and alleviating poverty in Scottish communities.

As part of our ongoing work to strengthen this important legislation, we have been pleased to provide the Scottish Government with recommendations on amendments to the Bill at Stage 2, and also at Stage 3.

Our suggested amendments have been created in consultation with our membership and in collaboration with other environmental NGO’s. Our amendments promote our ongoing message to the Scottish Government – put the boldest possible reuse policies at the heart of Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill.

We recognise that times are changing at Holyrood, and as an organisation we will continue to work with and adapt to ongoing changes in Scottish politics and narratives around climate.

We support cross-party engagement with the issues of climate and circular economy, which will help support the longevity and success of climate policy as well as other communities-based policies.

 

Please see below for a simple explanation of the journey of the Bill, and our work to influence it on behalf of our members, so far:

June 2024 Update – Stage 3 Amendments

The Circular Economy Bill is in Stage 3 ‘Final Changes and Vote’. MSPs can propose further “amendments” (changes) to the Bill. MSPs decide on each of these. Finally, they debate and vote on whether to pass the Bill.

Circular Communities Scotland is advocating for a further amendments to the Circular Economy Bill at Stage 3. You can read our amendments briefing paper here.

Specifically: Section 8 – Restrictions on the disposal of unsold goods:

We call on MSPs to move and support an amendment in Section 8: “to include provision for prioritising reuse over recycling of unsold goods in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy” and “to include provision to maximise the social impact of unsold goods within the existing network of community reuse organisations in Scotland”.

On behalf of our membership, Circular Communities Scotland has written to each Scottish MSP advocating for these amendments to the final Bill.

The deadline for MSPs to submit amendments is 12 noon on Tuesday 18 June.

April 2024 Update – Stage 2 Amendments

In March 2024 the Scottish Parliament voted in support of the general principles of the Circular Economy Bill and moved it to Stage 2.

The Circular Economy Bill (Stage 2) went back to the Net Zero, Energy & Transport (NZET) Committee to consider amendments to the Bill.  All proposed amendments have to be formally lodged by an MSP directly to the NZET Committee for their consideration at Stage 2.

Circular Communities Scotland worked closely with other environmental NGOs to create suggested amendments which would, we believe, strengthen the Bill and focus its attention more on the top of waste hierarchy.

Circular Communities Scotland’s amendment briefing paper was sent directly to all of the individual NZET Committee Members. You can read it here.

Stage 1 Debate & Vote

The Circular Economy Bill Stage 1 debate took place prior to a vote moving the Bill to Stage 2. You can watch it here. This was a chance for MSPs to voice their support or concerns with the Bill and there were a range of opinions given.

There was broad acknowledgement that the Bill was necessary, but that it wasn’t as strong or ambitious as it could be. There were also several MSPs speaking in support of our sector and for more actions at the top of the waste hierarchy to be recognised in the Bill.

Our CEO, Michael Cook, was pleased to give evidence to the NZET Committee at Stage 1 explaining why an ambitious CE Bill was necessary to support Scotland’s shift to a more circular economy. Furthermore, at Stage 1 we produced a policy paper that called for a “strong and ambitious Bill” that highlighted our 3 key areas of interest:

  1. Reuse Targets
  2. Restrictions on the disposal of unsold goods
  3. A statutory code of practice that prioritises reuse over recycling

Due to potential changes at Holyrood, Circular Communities Scotland will continue to monitor progress on the Circular Economy Bill closely.

To discuss our policy positions or to learn more about our policy work, please contact our Membership Manager matt@circularcommunities.scot.