Environmental campaigners call for consumption targets in new Bill

Friends of the Earth Scotland have urged Government to 'make (producers) pay for the damage their products create.'

Environmental campaigners call for consumption targets in new Bill Getty Images

Activists have urged the Scottish Government to include consumption targets in its Circular Economy Bill to encourage manufacturers to make goods that last longer.

Ahead of Black Friday – which sees a number of retailers drop prices on goods – Friends of the Earth Scotland have urged the Scottish Government to “make (producers) pay for the damage their products create”.

In the consultation exercise done last year ahead of the Bill’s introduction, 86% of respondents supported the idea of introducing statutory targets.

Currently before MSPs at Holyrood, the Circular Economy Bill will place charges on single-use items as well as banning the disposal of unsold consumer goods and setting local recycling targets.

Kim Pratt, a circular economy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Black Friday is costing the Earth – literally.

“The damage caused by retailers trying to boost their sales on Black Friday is part of a wasteful and polluting economic system which makes profits for big businesses but is expensive for everyone else.

“Scotland’s new law to move to a circular economy is an important opportunity to improve the way we consume materials, so goods and products cost us and the planet less.

“To be as strong as possible, the Circular Economy Bill must include targets to reduce Scotland’s consumption of materials to sustainable levels whilst still allowing people to live well. Scotland’s existing climate targets only cover domestic emissions, despite 58% of our carbon footprint coming from imported goods and services.

“We need the Scottish Government to have goals which reflect the full impact of the climate crisis if it is to hold big business to account and make them pay for the damage their products create.”

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater said: “We want to create a circular economy, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible. This is not just good for the environment – it will also create new economic opportunities and green jobs here in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Bill will establish the legislative framework to support that, including giving ministers the powers to introduce statutory targets that would help achieve our goals. Our proposed restrictions on the destruction of unsold goods would also help tackle unnecessary waste.”

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