APRS Resources

Stage 2 Briefing – Circular Economy Bill

This is APRS’s briefing for the Members of the Zet Zero, Energy and Transport Committee in advance of the Stage 2 Debate of the Circular Economy Bill

Dear Members of the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee,

In advance of the Stage 2 debate on the Circular Economy Bill, APRS would like to thank all those who have engaged with our proposals to strengthen the Bill, and especially those MSPs who have lodged constructive amendments on the issues we have been working on.

We would therefore urge all Members to support all of the following amendments:

Purpose clause and waste hierarchy

Note: amendments 92 and 131 below both propose a “purpose clause”, with much overlapping wording. From APRS’s perspective, either would represent a major improvement to the Bill, and if one is supported by the Committee, elements of the other would be worth considering at Stage 3.

Amendment 92 in the name of Sarah Boyack MSP – in line with this briefing note from APRS, this would put the waste hierarchy onto the face of the Bill and also ensure that the principles of circularity would be applicable directly across the whole of the Bill.

Amendment 131 in the name of Maurice Golden MSP – as above.

Amendment 136 in the name of Lorna Slater MSP – this would put the waste hierarchy on the face of the Bill, ensuring that this long-standing and widely accepted principle informs the preparation of future circular economy strategy documents under the requirements of Section 1.

Although not directly related to the priorities of APRS, in this area we also support amendment 137 in the name of Lorna Slater MSP, amendment 137A in the name of Maurice Golden MSP and amendment 143 in the name of Maurice Golden MSP.

Supporting refillables

Amendment 210 in the name of Maurice Golden MSP – this would formalise some of the relevant elements currently set out in the Circular Economy Route Map, and require Ministers to make specific proposals to promote this important part of the transition to a circular economy (using powers under the 2021 UK Environment Act).

Supporting product stewardship 

Amendment 212 in the name of Sarah Boyack – this would formalise some of the relevant elements currently set out in the Circular Economy Route Map, and require Ministers to make specific proposals to promote takeback and other elements of product stewardship, an important part of the transition to a circular economy. Implementation would again rely on the 2021 UK Environment Act, and would be in line with proposals from the Scottish Government’s 2016 strategy document Making Things Last.

Circular economy plans for Scottish public bodies

Amendment 152 in the name of Maurice Golden MSP – this would ensure that the wider public sector in Scotland is required to consider and improve its own circularity. One route for this is through procurement, again in line with proposals from Making Things Last, which noted: “We recognise the potential for public procurement to support the development of a more circular economy in Scotland“.

Reporting requirements on those in receipt of public funds

Amendment 196 in the name of Mark Ruskell MSP – substantial grants and loans are made through Scotland’s three development agencies (Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and South of Scotland Enterprise). This would require recipients of those grants and loans to report on their current circularity and any measures they plan to adopt to improve that, in line with the November 2020 Green Recovery report from the then ECCLR Committee (Recommendation 71): “The Committee recommends public funding must be accompanied by a published set of conditions on achieving relevant public objectives (e.g. net-zero, biodiversity, fair work, diversity and inclusion, circular economy). All applications for funds must include an action plan to achieve the conditions, with the detail proportionate to the scale of funding.

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