Destruction of unsold goods could be banned in Scotland

Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay

The destruction of unsold, durable goods could be banned as part of plans to reduce waste, Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater has announced.

Proposals for a ban will be put forward in a consultation on a new Circular Economy Bill, to be opened in May.

It is intended to address public concerns about unsold products being destroyed or ending up in landfill. Retailers may be required to look for other options for unsold products, including donating and recycling them.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater commented on the announcement: “It is absolutely senseless for perfectly good products to end up in landfill. Rather than being wasted in landfill or incinerated, they should be reused or repurposed.

“We are living in a climate emergency. When goods go to landfill without having even been used once, we don’t just waste the product – we also waste all the energy and raw materials that went into making it.

“This proposal is a direct response to the public concerns about what happens to items that go unsold. By pursuing a ban, we can make sure they make it into the hands of those that need them, and help Scotland reduce its carbon footprint.

“This is the sort of action that’s needed to create a circular economy and shows the level of ambition that will be contained in our proposals in May.”

The proposals is set to make sure Scotland keeps pace with Europe as France has recently enacted such a ban and the EU is currently considering similar interventions.

France has already introduced a ban on companies destroying clothes, cosmetics, hygiene products, electrical items and other unsold or returned items. Rather than landfill or incinerate unsold goods, companies have to reuse, donate or recycle their unsold products.