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ACR+ member Zero Waste Scotland published a report revealing that recycling at home and tackling food waste are key actions Scots can take in the fight against climate change.

The report also shows that the huge progress the country has made on recycling and diverting waste from landfill in recent years has helped cut carbon emissions from waste by one quarter between 2011 and 2015.

The ground-breaking Carbon Metric, an innovative tool developed by Zero Waste Scotland, shows how waste reduction and sustainable waste management can play a critical role in the fight against climate change. It is a pioneering way to measure the carbon impact of our waste, not just the amount that is recycled.

The latest results, for 2014/15, reveal that:

  • Household waste accounts for less than 25% of all Scottish waste. However, in 2015, Household waste accounted for 57% of the total carbon impacts of Scotland’s waste, 9% more than it did in 2011.
  • The five most carbon intensive waste materials make up just 6% of Scotland’s waste by weight, but nearly a third of associated carbon impacts.
  • Food waste is the most carbon intensive waste material, generating 15% of carbon impacts in 2014, and 17% in 2015.
  • Textile waste is also high impact, accounting for just 0.2% of waste, but 4% of waste impacts in 2014, and 0.3% of waste, but 5% of waste impacts in 2015.

To download the full report, please go to


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