Scottish firms could save up to £2b by cutting waste and resource use and £64m could be saved by cutting food waste in the hospitality sector alone, according to Zero Waste Scotland, which last week welcomed new proposals by the Scottish Government to increase recycling collections from businesses.
The proposed Zero Waste Regulations call for mandatory food waste collections for businesses involved in food production, retail or preparation as well as paper and card, glass, metals, and plastics to be collected separately from businesses.
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, which was set up to support delivery of the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan, said that the regulations would mean a step change in the way businesses manage their waste, but one that would give a net benefit for the Scottish economy.
"However, businesses can benefit even more by working with us to reduce waste and resource use in the first place. For example, our research has shown the hospitality sector could save up to £64m a year by reducing food waste," he added.
"We are supporting Scottish businesses to reduce waste and save money by ensuring they get the most out from the raw materials, packaging, existing stock, and other resources they buy and use. Our online training course, On Course For Zero Waste, is a great place for SMEs to start."
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead agreed: "For the private sector, Zero Waste Scotland's online training programme is specifically targeted at SMEs.
"With an expert mentor to guide them in identifying and making savings, this is exactly the kind of innovative support we need to engage all businesses on the road to zero waste."
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By Janie Stamford
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