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Shaping and influencing policy

The final few months of 2019 presented us with several exciting opportunities to continue to shape legislation, policy and practice, an aspect of our work which is increasingly important as a result of the climate crisis. Here are some highlights:

Strategic engagement and working collaboratively

In December, we attended a Circular Economy Consultation Event hosted in Stirling by Scottish Environment LINK. The event was an opportunity for us and other organisations calling for an ambitious Circular Economy Bill to discuss our thoughts on the Scottish Government’s proposals on the topic. The Scottish Government was also represented giving us the chance to engage directly with key civil servants before a Circular Economy Bill is put before the Scottish Parliament in 2020.

Following on from this, we finalised our response to the Circular Economy consultation later in December. In our response, we supported the call from Environment LINK and partner organisations for more ambition from the Scottish Government in moving Scotland towards being a waste-free society. However, we also expressed our support for aspects of the proposed legislation which address issues on which we have been campaigning for some time, such as the introduction of charges for single use coffee cups.

Developing and engaging with policy

The Scottish Government’s Circular Economy consultation document also highlighted our own figures on the prevalence of roadside litter on motorways and class A roads, in order to support the proposed introduction of new enforcement powers to tackle the dropping of litter from vehicles. This is another aspect of the proposals that we expressed strong support for in our consultation response, and hope to see included in the final Bill.

In addition to Circular Economy we submitted responses to three other consultations in November and December: on the role of public sector bodies in tackling climate change, the principles of a ‘tourist tax’ and finally the regulations for the upcoming Deposit and Return Scheme in Scotland. In the first of these, we expressed our support for the principle of new targets for public sector bodies in Scotland setting out when they will achieve zero direct emissions. In the latter, we stated our support for the introduction of a Deposit and Return Scheme covering as wide a range of materials as possible, with the best potential to maximise the recycling and removal of items that may become litter.

Demonstrating expertise and credibility

Finally, in October our Cup Movement® was mentioned in the Scottish Government’s official response to the EPECOM report on the environmental impact of single use disposable cups. Cup Movement launched in 2019 in Glasgow, and aims to encourage people to make the switch away from single use cups to reusable products, while also making it easier for people to recycle. The Scottish Government will be supporting Cup Movement as part of its efforts to reduce our reliance on single-use items.

03 January 2020

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