New Institute of Remanufacture to drive Scotland’s circular economy

Funding of £1.3m has been announced for the Scottish Institute of Remanufacture to realise the value of materials like gold and electrical components harvested from recycled televisions, mobile phones and computers.

The research centre was unveiled by Cabinet Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead today (29 October) at the 13th annual Scottish Resources Conference in Glasgow.

Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government is serious about creating a greener, more circular economy, where our valuable products and materials remain in useful circulation for longer, creating and sustaining jobs in the process.

“The challenge is to re-design products to make it easier to take them apart and remanufacture them into new products, and harness their true value. We need Scotland’s brightest and best minds to be focussed on achieving this more circular use of valuable products and materials and that is what the new Scottish Institute of Remanufacture will do.”

Circular thinking

Director of Zero Waste Scotland Iain Gulland has welcomed the announcement of the institute as a ‘centre of excellence and expertise’ for a sector which has ‘exciting potential to develop a sustainable manufacturing industry in Scotland’.

“Our current make-and-dispose economic model cannot continue and by focusing on remanufacture and re-use, Scotland can develop a circular economy which makes better use of resources and creates jobs. Zero Waste Scotland will work with partners in all sectors to support this development,” he said.

—10 things you need to know about the circular economy—

Lochhead also confirmed the creation of a Scottish Materials Brokerage Service to grow Scotland’s reprocessing sector and help the public sector to get a better deal for the recycled materials collected from their communities.

He said: “Our Materials Brokerage Service – the first of its kind in the UK – will see supply and demand for high value recycling matched up, providing certainty of supply for investors and certainty of demand for local authorities.

“Scotland’s public sector handles almost 3 million tonnes of waste materials per year. We need to ensure these materials get to the right place and the Brokerage Service will enable the resources collected by councils to be channelled into higher value use, while providing a good deal for the public sector and improving our recycling rates.”

Zero Waste Scotland today (29 October) announced the appointment of three new board members following its separation from WRAP in July of this year. Phil Matthews, John Watt and Petra Biberbach will join Chair Vic Emery to become the Board for the newly independent company.

Yesterday (28 October) Glasgow Computer Recycling and Barr Environmental became the latest companies to sign up for Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Sector Commitment.

Lois Vallely

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