By tackling the materials that most damage the climate like plastics, textiles and food waste, councils in Scotland are drastically changing their schemes for recycling. Waste with a high carbon impact will have to be recycled in quantities far larger starting in 2013 by councils and households and other materials with lower carbon benefits from recycling will become less important, such as paper.
Described as a world first by government agency Zero Waste this initiative replaces one that has been used across Europe that was a much more traditional method for recycling and focused on weight. This new scheme factors in the carbon emissions that are involved in the production of each waste and how the recycling of that material benefits the climate instead of sending it to the landfill.
Zero Waste Scotland’s director, Iain Gulland says it is the next big leap in the scheme of recycling admitting that using tonnage was not the most environmentally sustainable and that this new scheme is where Scotland will be the leader focusing on its environmental impact and how it could affect climate change.
Scots throw out over 570,000 tonnes of food and drink waste a year recycling group Wrap and WWF Scotland announced in a report and this has emerged as an important issue in Scotland. Also the new system will put a greater priority on closed recycling. Meaning instead of recycling glass to be used in a building material or insulation, recycle glass to be recycled as glass.
By 2025 Scotland has promised to achieve a rate of 75% recycling of waste and eventuality have a goal of zero waste to remain on pace with the other parts of the UK and the European Union. Scotland has a poor record for household recycling when it goes up against England, even though they are prideful of being the first to use a carbon metric system.