Making Things Last: a circular economy strategy for Scotland

Making Things Last
Publication Date
February, 2016
United Kingdom
Language for original content
Key Area
Colin MacBean

This strategy sets out our priorities for moving towards a more circular economy - where products and materials are kept in high value use for as long as possible.

It builds on Scotland's progress in the zero waste and resource efficiency agendas. A more circular economy will benefit:

  • the environment - cutting waste and carbon emissions and reducing reliance on scarce resources;
  • the economy - improving productivity, opening up new markets and improving resilience; and
  • communities - more, lower cost options to access the goods we need with opportunities for social enterprise.

​Realising these benefits will mean rethinking our approach to how goods are supplied, how they are used, and what happens at the end of products' lifetimes. In this strategy, we are prioritising four areas, although we will also take action elsewhere:

  • Food and drink, and the broader bio-economy: food waste is a significant source of carbon emissions; and a more circular approach to the beer, whisky and fish sectors, for example, could lead to potential savings of half a billion pounds per year;
  • Remanufacture: remanufacture is already contributing £1.1 billion per year to Scotland's economy with potential to grow by a further £620 million by 2020;
  • Construction and the built environment: construction accounts for about 50% of all waste in Scotland and is a major influence on efficient use of resources;
  • Energy infrastructure: there are considerable opportunities such as the reuse of equipment from wind turbines and decommissioned oil and gas platforms. Our ambition for waste prevention and using resources more efficiently is fundamental to achieving a more circular economy.