Environment good for Scottish business

Scottish Environment Minister Ross Finnie has stressed the importance of a cleaner, greener Scotland for a thriving economy.

Launching a consultation on the sustainable management of waste from business and public sector organisations this week Mr Finnie highlighted the economic significance of adopting the reduce, re-use, recycle message.

“Waste is not just an environmental issue – it is a business one too,” he said.

Businesses can increase profits by as much as £1,000 per employee by introducing a systematic waste minimisation programme, he claimed.

“The producer pays principle dictates that businesses are responsible for the waste they produce,” said Mr Finnie.

“With the cost of disposing of waste rising it makes sound business sense to consider minimising waste at source and to recycle.”

The Executive’s attempt to woo business is fully backed by regulator the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

“About 75 per cent of the waste produced in Scotland annually comes from the commercial and industrial sector.

“SEPA is pleased to be working with the Executive to develop a plan for its sustainable management,” said Campbell Gemmell, SEPA’s chief executive.

“This consultation paper consolidates, for the first time, information on the wastes produced.

“It provides stakeholders with an opportunity to comment on the issues and to influence the direction of a Commercial and Industrial Waste Plan for Scotland”.

The consultation paper is now available on the Scottish Executive’s website and interested parties are invited to comment.

Comments must be received by December 16, 2005.

Once implemented, the ideas outlined in the paper could have a far-reaching impact on waste management north of the border.

It has a wide remit, looking at broad areas such as how best to get information to industry to specific proposals such as landfill bans on materials which can be viably recycled.

By Sam Bond

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