The Scottish Government has published the ‘Circular Economy Bill’, to provide new tools for handling waste and increasing the country’s overall reuse and recycling rates.

The legislation will allow the government and associated ministers to establish new local recycling targets.

These targets are mainly based on the experience of nearby country Wales, which is claimed to currently have the best recycling rates in the UK.

Ministers will also have the authority to set up new ‘statutory targets’ that will assess and measure the advancements made to minimise waste and the carbon footprint of the country.

The new bill will also allow authorities to impose a ban on the disposal of unsold consumer goods so that brand-new products avoid landfill.

Scotland’s minister for Circular Economy Lorna Slater said: “The Circular Economy Bill with give local councils and the Scottish Government the powers they need to transform our economy and tackle throwaway culture.

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“Of course, the best way of tackling waste is to not create it in the first place. There are huge economic opportunities in the circular economy and we have already seen businesses in Scotland creating jobs by turning what we might otherwise throw away into valuable new products and services.

“This legislation will support the growth of more green businesses and community organisations while cutting waste and climate emissions.”

The bill will enable ministers to charge consumers for using single-use items such as coffee cups in order to encourage people to use reusable alternatives.

Furthermore, it will provide additional enforcement powers to local authorities that can then take regulatory action against various forms of littering such as fly-tipping.

Apart from publishing this new bill, the government has decided to work in close coordination with local authorities in the country to draft an updated national Code of Practice for local household waste recycling.

This code will help in enhancing the quality and quantity of collected waste recycling while ensuring that these recycling services are being provided consistently.