The new regulations to help Scotland become one of the most resource efficient nations in Europe have been passed by the Scottish Parliament and in the turn of the coming new year, the new waste regulations for businesses located in Scotland will take effect, but what does this mean to you?

It’s simple, if you are a business in Scotland then you should be aware of the new regulations and ready to be compliant with them when the 1st January 2014 beckons.

Here is a summary of the new regulations being implemented over the next 7 years, in bite sized bullet points for you and your business to digest, one by one:

1st January 2014


  • The regulation which starts being implemented on the 1st January 2014 will mean that every business will have a legal duty to segregate recyclable materials, including metal, plastic, paper, card and glass.

  • Food businesses producing more than 50 kg per week of food waste will have to implement food recycling schemes using dedicated waste bins and arrange separate collection.

  • Food waste disposal into public drains and sewers will become illegal and must be avoided.


1st January 2016


  • 2 years after the initial regulation changes the legislation will become more widespread as food businesses which produce over 50 kg of food waste per week are to present that food waste for separate collection.

  • The local authorities will also have to provide a minimum recycling service to householders whilst waste contractors are to provide collection and treatment services which deliver high quality recycling.

  • Disposing of food waste down the drain or sewer in a non-rural area where a separate food waste collection service is available will be illegal.


1st January 2021


  • In just over 7 years from now a there will be a ban on all biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill.



The new legislation will be enforced by SEPA and the Local Authorities whereby businesses and public bodies failing to comply with the new laws risk a maximum fine of  £10,000.

These new Scottish Waste Regulations affect every single business owner in Scotland. No matter how big or small, you have to do your bit and separate your waste for recycling.

In Summary…

The new regulations will help towards achieving the ambitious targets set by the Scottish Government to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025, ensuring Scotland becomes one of the most resource efficient nations in Europe. Adrian Bond, National Operations Waste Unit Manager from Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:

“The new regulations are a key part of Scotland’s ambitious journey to zero waste and, over the last year, we have seen significant progress by individual producers and waste service providers to engage in recycling.”

The changes will be a great move forward in waste management for Scotland and it could be possible other countries soon follow suit.

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