Scottish Government launches recycling campaign

13 February 2012

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign to encourage the public to recycle more, following research showing that recycling is already saving local authorities in the country £20 million a year.

The campaign features an interactive recycling bank which will be taken to locations across Scotland including university campuses and workplaces during the campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling more.

Richard Lochhead said the scheme is designed to encourage people to recycle more, more often
Richard Lochhead said the scheme is designed to encourage people to recycle more, more often

Launching the initiative last week (February 8), Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead, said: “It’s far better that we invest money in frontline services rather than bury it in landfill so it's great news that Scotland’s recycling effort saves our local authorities £20 million each year.

“Our recycling campaign aims to encourage people to recycle more, more often. We have had huge successes with past campaigns which have supported significant increases in household recycling. Latest figures show Scotland's households already recycle nearly 44% of waste but there’s a lot more we could all be doing.

“It’s so easy and important to recycle what we can, in turn saving raw materials and a substantial amount of money. I encourage everyone to go that bit further – be it recycling an additional item or recycling more of what you already do more frequently – to make Scotland a true zero waste society and save even more vital public funds.”


At the launch, shoppers at Edinburgh’s largest shopping centre, Ocean Terminal, were encouraged to try out the campaign’s interactive recycling bank.

Paul Gibson, operations manager at Ocean Terminal said: “Ocean Terminal has sterling green credentials and we’re fully committed to recycling. Last year we took the initiative to install Recycle Zones, which increased the amount we recycle by 21%.

“Small steps like recycling more cans, paper and plastics can have a big impact on our environment. The Scottish Government campaign raises awareness of how important it is to recycle more and give things another life, and, as a business, we’re delighted to be taking part."

Zero Waste

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, added that recycling was a simple step everyone could take to help boost Scotland’s economy.

“Recycling avoids landfill tax, which can help to save your council money – but it can also help to create more jobs and develop industries in Scotland”, he said. “Achieving all this depends on the choices people in Scotland make every day. By taking small actions to go greener together we benefit Scotland today and for future generations.”

People across Scotland will have the chance to learn more about what and where they can recycle locally through the campaign’s road show events. These are being held at shopping centres and supermarkets in locations across the country including Shetland, Clydebank, Orkney, Ayr, Perth, Falkirk and Aberdeen.

Zero Waste Scotland estimates that the amount Scottish households already recycle in kerbside collections saves councils more than £20 million a year. This is calculated by comparing recycled material collection and disposal costs with costs of sending the equivalent weight to landfill. This demonstrates that disposal costs per-tonne of waste sent to landfill is higher than the costs of recycling.