Scottish Executive considers tougher measures for producer responsibility
Questions have been raised over whether companies are doing enough in relation to their producer responsibility obligations, in a new study from the Scottish Executive.
The report says that producers of packaging, electronic equipment and vehicles could play a more effective role in the responsible management of these items at the end of their lifecycle.
The Scottish Government is now exploring the feasibility of setting Scotland-specific packaging recovery targets to drive up recycling rates on a local level, as well as introducing deposit return schemes for drinks packaging.
Other proposals include changing the take-back mechanism for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) at retail shops so consumers can hand in an old product at any shop currently selling equipment in the same category, without having to purchase a new product.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to play their part in preventing waste and encouraging recycling. This report will help us decide how best to ensure responsibilities are shared fairly."
As Scotland drives forward its Zero Waste Plan, the report says there is also scope to consider how existing producer responsibility regimes may more effectively influence and improve the management of waste and resources.
In some European countries where producer responsibility is applied across a range of products and packaging, around 15% of the cost of managing household waste is funded through support from the producer responsibility schemes.
Lochhead added: "Making producer responsibility work in Scotland is part of the ambition to see waste treated as a valuable resource that can create country-wide benefits such as jobs and environmentally-friendly power generation."