Around £4.2 million will help 17 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) develop new products which will re-use whisky by-products, waste plastic and household furniture, through the Circular Economy Investment Fund.
The quantity and quality of recycling will be improved through £4.2 million which is being made available this year to some of the 26 councils which have signed up to the Scottish Household Recycling Charter – an initiative which is helping councils move towards a consistent recycling system.
Announcing the funding at the Scottish Resources Conference, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “While we have made steady progress on recycling with the amount of household waste recycled in 2016 reaching 45.2% we want to see the pace of these improvements increase. Our investment will make it easier for households and businesses to put their things in the right bin by removing some of the confusion of different systems and working towards a national recycling system.
“As our need to tackle climate change becomes ever more urgent it is crucial that we invest in keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible. Our funding will also make it possible for SMEs to reuse food and drink and textiles and repurpose them into new products which will create jobs and reduce emissions.
“This investment, on top of our Programme for Government commitments of introducing a deposit return scheme and looking at ways of tackling our unnecessary throwaway culture will help Scotland become a cleaner and greener country.”
Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland which manages the Circular Economy Investment Fund, said: “We received a fantastic response to our call for new products and concepts to our Circular Economy Investment Fund so far, proposals which really demonstrate innovation and circular thinking in Scottish business.
“We’re grateful for the support of Scottish Government and European Regional Development Funding, which is helping to make the development some of these new ideas possible. These new design and business ideas are going to be crucial to changing the way we make and do things. Scotland has the potential to lead the way in this area and I’m excited to see these new businesses develop.”
David Mackie, co-founder and director of Marine Biopolymers, which is receiving more than £138,000 through the Circular Economy Investment Fund said:
“We are delighted that our project, which focuses on the recovery of high purity and value Cellulose from indigenous Scottish seaweed, and further converting it into a global first - seaweed nano-cellulose - has attracted support from Zero Waste Scotland through its Circular Economy Investment Fund. This adds to our already leading technology in the extraction of high value components from Scottish seaweed. The award will help us not only improve the circularity of our process, but could lead to a revenue boost over time of £ 5 million a year, and perhaps even as much as £10 million.
“Only two years ago, the solid waste from our seaweed process was just that - waste - and this has been an exciting journey to go from what might have been a business cost to a potential major future source of revenue, so we are highly appreciative of the support.”