A response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on developing a routemap towards creating a Circular Economy, chiefly focussing on reforming waste streams.Credits—
Craig DalzellDownload Now
This report is Common Weal’s response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a routemap towards creating the Circular Economy that would be enabled by their current Circular Economy Bill (see also Common Weal’s response to the consultation on that Bill). This consultation focuses largely on the management of waste within the Circular Economy and in particular on the role of improved waste recycling and in “responsible consumerism”. This marks the fundamental limit and, indeed, mis-targeting of this proposed routemap.
As explained in Common Weal’s Common Home Plan – the world’s first fully comprehensive, national-scale Green New Deal blueprint – consumerism itself is a major part of the problem that has resulted in the climate emergency and better waste management does not fix this. A true Circular economy should be based on the principles of demand reduction (more goods being leased and borrowed rather than purchased), Producer Responsibility (where the producers of goods are responsible for the entire lifecycle of their goods as well as the packaging, waste and pollution they create – even inadvertently or when waste is disposed of improperly) and a “Design for Zero” principle where goods are designed to fit within the Circular Economy and produce as little waste as possible and where waste, particularly packaging, is created, it can be easily re-used or composted.
The measures in this roadmap are often individually worthy of support though many of them are themselves insufficient – a single step forward where ten are needed – and the entire package of policy proposals is itself insufficient. While we certainly do not oppose many of the proposals in this consultation we do oppose the underlying premise of this roadmap as it will not lead to a Circular Economy even if every component part of it is implemented in full.
We therefore call on the Scottish Government to scrap this plan, consider what a Circular Economy would look like if it was implemented in full and then redesign the roadmap so that that desired end goal is achieved. Once again, we suggest Common Weal’s own Common Home Plan as the basis for an improved routemap.