Scotland business

New recycling rules come into effect for Scottish businesses

Bottles at recycling plant
Image caption The regulations aim to reduce waste levels

New rules on recycling waste have come into force for Scottish businesses.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations require waste to be separated into paper, card, plastic, metals and glass for collection.

All food businesses producing more than 50kg of food waste each week must present it for separate collection, unless they are in a rural area.

Those failing to comply with the new laws from 1 January risk a maximum fine of £10,000.

The Scottish government, with its agency Zero Waste Scotland, recommends businesses should audit waste to see where most of it comes from, and contact their waste contractors about how best to arrange separate collections.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said the waste regulations represented "a significant step toward delivering our vision of a zero waste Scotland".

"Our waste can be a valuable resource - but only when it is properly managed," he said.

"These important regulations will help change the way we regard our waste.

"We all have responsibilities when it comes to waste, not least the Scottish business community. Without their support, Scotland will not meet its zero waste ambitions."

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "There's real value in our waste. It's estimated that businesses across Scotland could save up to £192m by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and recycling as much waste as possible."

WWF Scotland, the environment pressure group, welcomed the introduction of the new regulations.

Its director, Lang Banks, said: "Scotland currently pays tens of millions of pounds annually in landfill taxes to throw away millions of pounds worth of valuable materials that could and should be being recycled or composted.

"Implemented well, these new rules will help cut waste, save money and resources, as well as create jobs.

"Creating a zero waste society starts by creating less waste in the first place and by making better use of the resources we already have."

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