A £70 million programme to develop the circular economy in Scotland, as one part of a package of measures to boost manufacturing in the country, has been welcomed by Zero Waste Scotland.
The Scottish government funded organisation said that together with Scottish Enterprise, it has been tasked with delivering the Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service to small to medium-sized businesses and other organisations. The aim is to develop innovative technologies, business models and infrastructure – from proof of concept stage through to implementation.
It is also planned to offer development support to businesses seeking to redesign their processes and products, and implement resource efficiency measures.
Announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the programme will benefit from more than £70 million of investment – including £30 million from the European Regional Development Fund – and is intended to enable companies to capture new opportunities presented by a move to a more circular economy across a range of sectors, including manufacturing.
The new manufacturing strategy, A Manufacturing Future for Scotland, outlined how government will work with industry and with higher and further education institutions to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in Scottish manufacturing in order that it can better compete globally.
“A circular economy provides an opportunity to support the competitiveness of our manufacturing base and attract investment – through eradicating waste, and becoming more efficient in our design and manufacturing processes to extend product life-cycles,” commented Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
“The Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Service will offer vital support to manufacturers that are seeking to develop processes and products that improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, in line with Scottish Government and EU policies,” he continued.
Swinney added that the Scottish Government will shortly publish its circular economy strategy – Making Things Last – which will set out in more detail our priorities for delivering the economic, environmental and social benefits of a more circular economy.
“This new funding and support package will push boundaries in business innovation to develop circular models that will keep products in use for longer and ultimately save precious raw materials and resources,” said Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland.
The Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service will be fully operational from 1 April 2016.
Zero Waste Scotland said that it is now inviting expressions of interest from small to medium sized businesses (including third sector organisations) in priority sectors such as manufacturing, food and drink, energy infrastructure, construction, re-use, remanufacturing, repair and reprocessing.
VIDEO: H&M Global Change Award to Drive Circular Economy in Fashion Industry
The Finnish team behind project to enable waste cotton to be recycled into new textile has won the first Global Change Award, an annual innovation challenge for to move the fashion industry to a more circular economy approach initiated by the non-profit H&M Conscious Foundation.
VIDEO: Project CONS Creative Recycling – From Skateboard to Stool
A project to encourage more people to be creative with reuse and recycling being run by clothing street wear firm, converse, has published a video in which designer and skateboarder Andy Vasque explains how he recycles end of lift materials such as skateboards to make furniture.
Entrepreneurs Key to Circular Economy Success
Hermann Erdmann, CEO at Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa, explains why entrepreneurs will be the key custodians in leading the transition to a circular economy.