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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October 2004, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Greens plan 'zero waste' campaign
Bottle bank
About a tenth of Scotland's waste was recycled last year
The Scottish Green Party has launched a national campaign aimed at making Scotland a waste-free country.

MSP Shiona Baird unveiled a 12-point plan which would attempt to eliminate waste and ensure that no material ends up in landfill or being incinerated.

The Greens are asking all MSPs to back the plan and are urging the Scottish Executive to adopt a zero waste policy.

The campaign launch comes days after ministers set new recycling targets for Scotland's councils.

Local authorities had already been told to recycle and compost 25% of municipal waste by 2006.

Improve recycling

However, that target has been extended to 30% by 2008.

Councils will receive about 350m over the next three years to continue the work to improve recycling facilities and divert waste away from landfill.

More than 12 million tonnes of rubbish was thrown out last year in Scotland, but only about 10% was recycled.

Ms Baird launched the Greens' campaign on Wednesday at the Greengairs landfill site in North Lanarkshire.

We can't possibly continue to eat up resources in the way we do just now
Shiona Baird
Green MSP

Included in the plan are proposals for a Zero Waste Agency to be set up with the target of achieving zero waste by 2020.

A list of materials and chemicals for phase-out would be drawn up to ensure that only the most environmentally friendly materials were used in producing goods.

The Greens also want a ban on incineration and for all organic materials to be taken out of waste streams and composted.

The party would also substantially raise targets for reuse, recycling and composting as well as promoting eco-design in further and higher education.

Create jobs

Ms Baird, who is the party's enterprise spokeswoman, said: "We all agree we should aim for zero tolerance (of violence), zero unemployment and zero poverty, so why not zero waste?

"If the rest of the world lived and consumed like Scotland does, we would need two extra planets to support us.

"We can't possibly continue to eat up resources in the way we do just now."

She said that a policy of zero waste could create thousands of jobs and ensure that no-one in Scotland has a landfill site on their doorstep.

Ms Baird has also put forward a parliamentary motion congratulating the executive for extending its recycling target and urging it to examine the potential for a zero waste policy.

Such a stance would concentrate on recycling, re-using and repairing products, as well as reducing the amount of packaging and redesigning products to ensure that they can be reused or recycled.

The Scottish National Party is also calling for a zero waste strategy.

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