New Scottish Recycling Programs Will Target Carbon Impact over Bulk

Scotland is introducing a new recycling program targeting materials that cause the most environmental damage — including food waste, plastics, and textiles — rather than simply focusing on weight.

Beginning in 2013, local communities and households will be asked to increase recycling of waste materials that have “high carbon impact,” based on the amount of carbon emissions that result from their production and the environmental value of recycling them.

Materials that produce lower environmental benefits through recycling, such as paper, will become less important. “It’s all about climate change,” said Iain Gulland, director of the government-sponsored group Zero Waste Scotland. “It’s not just tons and the cost of travel from A to B, it’s the environmental impact.” The new programs will also pay closer scrutiny to wasted food and drink, which equal 3 percent of Scotland’s CO2 emissions.

A new study by the Waste & Resources Action Programme and WWF found that the average person in the UK wastes 243 liters of water each day through the amount of food they throw away — more than twice the amount of water they use in their homes.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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