Campaigners Call For Targets To Limit Consumption

By Stefan Carlin

18th March 2022

(Campaigns are pressuring Government through protest. Photograph: Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

Campaign group Friends of the Earth have called on the Scottish Government to limit import consumption and set appropriate targets.

The group has called on the Scottish Government to start setting targets on the number of imported goods that are being consumed. 

These calls for consumption targets come as the Scottish Government announces it will launch a consultation into a new Circular Economy Bill in May.

Environment secretary, Roseanne Cunningham, MSP said: “A thriving circular economy presents enormous economic and industrial opportunities for Scotland, as well as significant environmental benefits.”

Cunningham added: “An estimated 80% of our global climate emissions are currently linked to the production, consumption, and waste of products and resources. For our journey towards becoming a net-zero society to be successful, it must involve a fundamental rethink about how we use and reuse materials.”

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said: “A circular economy is at the heart of Scotland’s response to the climate emergency and will help dramatically reduce the amount of waste generated in Scotland.”

Kim Pratt, a circular economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland said today:

“The Circular Economy Bill is Scotland’s chance to reduce the over-consumption of materials which is killing our planet.”

She added: “The Scottish Government can send a clear signal to all sectors in Scotland, and across the world, that we are serious about the system-level change required to create a circular economy. To do this, we need strong targets which measure, for the first time, the global impact of Scotland’s material consumption.”

She continued: “We consumed 18 tonnes of materials per person per year in Scotland in 2017. Creating a circular economy, with sustainable levels of material use and which also meets high quality living standards for everyone could reduce this to eight tonnes.”

Speaking on the issue, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland said:

“Fully embracing the circular economy will be a hugely significant step and crucial if Scotland is to reduce its carbon emissions and protect the natural environment.”

Gulland continued: “The Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill represents a very welcome opportunity to address challenges right across the waste hierarchy, from tacking issues around litter and fly-tipping, introducing new reporting mechanisms that will help to monitor, track and ultimately help reduce our waste.”

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