Roseanna Cunningham warns need to tackle climate change growing ‘ever more urgent’ as she awards £8.5 million recycling boost

SCOTLAND’S Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham today warned the nation’s battle against climate change is growing “ever more urgent”.

She said while progress was being made in key areas the “pace” has to be lifted on things like recycling and re-use of resources.

Announcing a £8.4 million injection in cash to help support businesses working in those areas, she also called for greater clarity around recycling, hinting that a national system may be the best way forward.

That would most likely help reduce any confusion of what kind of thing can be recycled where and who oversees it.

Attending today’s Scottish Resources Conference in Edinburgh, she announced new cash boosts for organisations under the so called Circular Economy Investment Fund.

It sees around 17 smaller businesses receive about £4.2million to work with things such as whisky by products, household furniture and waste plastics.

A similar amount is being made available to 26 councils with a view to seeing them improve and standardise recycling.

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She told delegates: “While we have made steady progress on recycling with the amount of household waste recycled in 2016 reaching 45.2% we want to see the pace of these improvements increase.

“Our investment will make it easier for households and businesses to put their things in the right bin by removing some of the confusion of different systems and working towards a national recycling system.

“As our need to tackle climate change becomes ever more urgent it is crucial that we invest in keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible.

“Our funding will also make it possible for SMEs to reuse food and drink and textiles and repurpose them into new products which will create jobs and reduce emissions.

“This investment, on top of our Programme for Government commitments of introducing a deposit return scheme and looking at ways of tackling our unnecessary throwaway culture will help Scotland become a cleaner and greener country.”

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland which manages the Circular Economy Investment Fund, welcomed the new cash.

He said: “Scotland has the potential to lead the way in this area and I’m excited to see these new businesses develop.”

Want to learn more? Read: Zero Waste Scotland – The Circular Economy

Image credits: The Scottish Government

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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