BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 15 June '15

Scotland’s Environment Secretary launches campaign to support circular economy

Scotland’s Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead, has launched a social media campaign to promote repairing, reusing and remanufacturing as part of a wider circular economy drive.

Speaking at the launch of the #MakeItLast campaign, Richard Lochhead described a more circular economy as ‘a moral imperative’ that also ‘just makes good sense’.

‘Creating a more circular economy is good for the environment, good for the economy and like our action on climate change, a moral imperative – it will create jobs in our communities, improve our quality of life, and just makes good sense.’

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s Environment Secretary

Scotland charges for carrier bags – minimum 5p charge applied for single-use bags

The next big thing

Following on from the success of the 5p single-use carrier bag charge, the Cabinet Secretary wants to know what the public believe could be the next big thing to help reduce waste and #MakeThingsLast.

‘I wonder how many people realise that by simply hiring a kilt or a dress to attend a wedding, they are already helping to keep valuable materials circulating around our economy.

‘A circular economy is where we keep products in use for as long as possible; and reused, refurbished or taken apart to make new products at the end of their initial life.

‘How often do you buy new clothes for a special event that only get worn once? How many DIYers buy expensive power tools for a single task then leave them to gather dust in the garden shed? How many parents resort to buying brand new toys when something gets broken rather than repairing it?

‘That’s why we’re here today – to ask people to take up our #MakeThingsLast challenge and think of ways in which they can contribute towards a more circular economy for Scotland.’

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s Environment Secretary

The #MakeThingsLast campaign

As part of the campaign, Zero Waste Scotland plans to showcase some great examples from around the country, including 3D printing and tool-sharing libraries, which have the potential to transform society.

‘We want you to share your views on these ideas, tell us your own, and get involved in the conversation. Keep up-to-date with the latest from this four-week campaign on Zero Waste Scotland’s Facebook page, or on Twitter using #MakeThingsLast.

‘At the end of this campaign, your views could contribute to the development of a roadmap towards a circular economy in Scotland. This could see Scotland adopt more game-changing policies and initiatives – like our recent adoption of a charge for single-use carrier bag. These changes will help shape our future society, ensuring it’s sustainable for generations to come.’

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland

Creating a circular economy

Action to create a more circular economy starts with product design, which influences how products are manufactured and used – as well as how long they last and scope for repair, reuse and recycling.

Combining these approaches helps to keep products in use for longer – making better use of the material, labour, energy and capital that went into their production.

‘The #MakeThingsLast campaign is about engaging everyone in Scotland in finding a solution to a common problem we all share – how do we end our throwaway culture and make the most of what we already have?’

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland

Scotland is already internationally recognised as a leader in the movement towards becoming a circular economy. The Scottish Institute for Remanufacture is the first of its kind in Europe and one of only four in the world, alongside others in New York, Singapore and Beijing.