The Scottish Government has pledged to cut the nation’s food waste by more than a third by 2025.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead says the ambitious target could save Scottish businesses and households more than £500 million.
Mr Lochhead announced the plan during a visit with EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in Edinburgh on Tuesday to launch Scotland’s first Circular Economy Strategy.
Mr Lochhead said: “The Scottish Food Waste Reduction Target is the first of its kind in Europe. Pledging to cut food waste by 33 per cent by 2025 will put Scotland at the forefront of global action to tackle food waste, and will put us on track to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030.
“Household food waste in Scotland has decreased by an estimated 37,000 tonnes per year – 5.7 per cent overall – since 2009, saving households across the country a staggering £92 million a year.
“That’s a great start but I want to see more done, which is why I have set this target today.
“A circular economy is where we keep products in use for as long as possible.
“A more circular economy, where we make things last, is an economic, environmental and moral necessity – and it just makes good sense.”
The Circular Economy Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s early priorities for action, in the areas where Scotland is in a position to make rapid progress – such as remanufacturing – and where there is scope to deliver the most significant environmental and economic benefits, including food and bioeconomy, energy, infrastructure and construction.
The new strategy - Making Things Last - will be delivered in close collaboration with Scotland’s enterprise agencies, SEPA and Zero Waste Scotland.
It comes a week after the First Minister announced £70 million of EU and domestic funding to support a more circular economy, alongside Scotland’s Manufacturing Action Plan.