The government has made available £5 million from its Mixed Plastics Capital Grant Programme and is inviting businesses and organizations planning to build new facilities to apply for cash support.

The funding will cover up to 30% of the total cost of setting up the recycling plants.

The government-funded Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Scotland will consider applications and administer the scheme.

Scottish households generate over 200,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year – enough to fill a football stadium.

But, according to WRAP Scotland Director, Iain Gulland, “It’s not just households, but Scottish businesses, too, which are creating a large amount of plastics waste, and it is costing Scotland a lot of time, energy and resources to manage.

“However, this £5m package turns this situation into a real opportunity.”

“Recycling more and more used plastic and returning it into the supply chain as new material right here in Scotland would help protect the environment and conserve valuable resources. It could also contribute to economic recovery by presenting new business opportunities and generating jobs.”

Mr. Gulland added: “At the moment, only 15,000 tonnes of plastic used by householders is collected for recycling in Scotland, with the majority of that being sent to Asia for processing. This funding package will help develop plastics processing and recycling facilities, transforming Scotland’s approach to managing plastic waste.

“We are inviting bids on a competitive basis and want to see innovative and workable ideas.”

Mr. Gulland said that, in the vast majority of cases, these mixed plastics currently end up being disposed of by householders, as systems are not in place to recycle them.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, said: “What the Scottish Government wants is to drive practical, Scottish-based solutions. The potential spin-offs are exciting.

“If we sort and recycle the plastics here, we can provide the raw materials for a new generation of manufacturing businesses and create jobs at the same time.”

“Creating opportunities close to home makes sense both for the environment and the economy. And, of course, providing a Scottish-based recycling facility, will also incentivise Scottish households to recycle more of their waste.”

David Gibbs

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