“The scope of the opportunity is huge: there are 27 million tonnes of bioresources arising every year in Scotland…"
The case for making better use of bio-based waste has been further strengthened by a Scottish government-backed organisation, after it released a report highlighting the crucial role by-products can play in a modern circular economy. Zero Waste Scotland published Biorefining Potential for Scotland to reveal the scale of the opportunity and the work that has already been done north of The Border. It revealed that 27 million tonnes of bio-based materials are produced in the country annually, with the waste made up of materials like coffee grounds, forestry waste and macro algae.
The 56-page report has been published as part of the Scottish government’s aim of sustainable economic growth as laid out in the country’s first circular economy strategy, Making Things Last, which it pubhlished last year. Zero Waste Scotland, the organisation whose raison d'être is to create a society where resources are valued and not wasted, is also part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, Iain Gulland, said that the bioeconomy is a priority area within the government’s strategy. He underlined the progress already being made by the brewery and fishing industries that between them have saved between £500m and £800m annually by better utilising waste.
Writing in the report’s foreword, Gulland said: “The scope of the opportunity is huge: there are 27 million tonnes of bioresources arising every year in Scotland which could be turned into high value chemicals, biofuels and other renewable products across many industries.”
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am delighted that this report shows there are huge opportunities for Scottish business in biorefining. We need to stop seeing waste and start seeing opportunities. These resources are important and can make high-value chemical products like plastics, paints, plane parts and aviation fuels.”
Providing the evidence behind the claims, Zero Waste Scotland published a number of case studies that showed a number of companies who were already harnessing the power of bio. Such as Argent Energy, which produces distilled biodiesel from waste fats, oils and greases and Celtic Renewables, which makes biofuel from the by-products of the Scottish malt whisky producers.
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