Increase reuse and repair investment
Create a system of reuse and repair credits for social enterprises based on the carbon savings they are making.
A circular Scotland would move beyond recycling by encouraging circular behaviours such as reuse and repair to become mainstream activities. Compared to the levels of investment in recycling over the past 20 years, an even greater level of investment is now needed in reuse and repair services and infrastructure.
The Scottish Government should provide funding for reuse charities and social enterprises which is linked to the environmental benefits of their reuse and repair activities. Reuse and repair combats climate change through carbon savings. Like feed-in tariffs for green energy generation, reuse and repair credits should be paid to social enterprises for the carbon savings associated with the material diverted through reuse and repair activities (for example, a fixed financial value for every CO2e per tonne of material diverted). This money will help the receiving organisations to scale up and grow their activities.
There are social benefits to reuse and repair. Reuse creates far more green and local jobs than recycling, incineration, or landfill activities.222 Reuse organisations are also helping to combat the current cost of living crisis through offering affordable goods to those who need them.
There needs to be stronger direct financial support for innovative models such as repair cafés, sharing libraries, bike reuse services and community fridges, as well as continuing Scottish Government funding for the Share and Repair Network.223 These projects provide easy and tangible access for the public to engage in circular economy behaviours. However, they require initial support in the form of grant funding, as well as ongoing operational support.
For further information:
- Policy Paper for Scotland Circular Economy Bill, Circular Communities Scotland, May 2022, https://www.circularcommunities.scot/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Scotlands-Circular-Economy-Bill-Policy-Paper.pdf
Briefing on job creation potential in the re-use sector, RREUSE, 2015, https://www.rreuse.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-briefing-on-reusejobs- website-2.pdf
Share and Repair Network home page, 2023, https://shareandrepair.scot/