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Scotland gets thrifty for waste reduction week

European Week for Waste Reduction kicks off

Cutting down on waste is the goal of more than 200 actions and events in Scotland this week as individuals, schools, community groups, local authorities, and businesses take part in European Week for Waste Reduction, which runs until this Sunday (27 November).

21 Nov 11

According to recent research, Scotland could save at least £2.3billion if we reduced waste and make the most of our resources.  Scotland’s economy also relies on raw materials, such as aggregates used in construction and copper used in electrical components, which are becoming scarce globally.  Prices of copper rose by 400% between 2000 and 2008. 

To mark European Week for Waste Reduction, Zero Waste Scotland has led a drive to encourage people to do more to reduce waste over the week.  218 actions and events are set to be held and include:


  •  Moray Council’s ‘reuse and repair drive’ will encourage pupils from local schools to bring in unwanted or broken electronic and electrical equipment for collection. Waste advisors will also be posted at recycling centres across the area to prompt people to ask whether their waste is reusable before sending it for recycling. 
  • A screening of Academy Award nominated film, ‘Wasteland’ on 22 November at the University of Stirling Campus cinema, organised by local charity Forth Environment Link 
  •    A ‘Take 1 at a time’ promotion led nationwide by NHS Scotland –to encourage a reduction in paper towel usage
  • The Wise Group, a social enterprise based in Glasgow, will focus on food waste prevention with advice stalls in supermarkets and winter festivals

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

"Scotland could save at least £2.3 billion by reducing waste and ensuring we make the most of our resources. By taking part in this European initiative, organisations across Scotland have highlighted how we can all make better use of our resources. Scotland has ambitious targets for cutting waste, becoming a society that turns its resources back into new, useful materials which can benefit Scottish businesses, support jobs and contribute to many wider social benefits."

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: 

“Preventing waste in the first place is fundamentally important.  It ensures we make the best possible use of our resources, which can help businesses and individuals save money too. 

“Take food waste, for example.  The average household wastes up to £430 by throwing out unused food each year.  Scotland’s hospitality industry could save £64million a year by tackling food waste.  Cutting out waste ensures we get the most out of what we buy, achieve value for money and helps us live as sustainably as possible.”

Keep up to date with news during the week on our Facebook page.

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