A new fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises explore and pioneer ways to develop a circular economy has been launched by Zero Waste Scotland.
The Circular Economy Investment Fund is part of a wider £70m (€90m) programme, supported through European Regional Development Funds, which aims to improve business productivity and create a circular economy in Scotland.
The fund aims to accelerate the development of business innovation, including support for developing new technologies and the infrastructure needed for a more circular economy which could mean sharing, leasing or takeback models, encouraging repair or new recycling ideas.
A circular economy is based on finding high value uses for materials and keeping materials in productive use for as long as possible, instead of simply using and discarding them.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “Across Europe, shifting towards a more circular economy could generate £1.4trn (€1.79trn)of annual benefits by 2030. It presents significant opportunities for Scotland, and that's why the Scottish government is showing ambition and commitment in putting support behind the development of circular economy businesses and ideas, and also setting a strategy to drive change."
Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland, said: “We're genuinely excited to be launching this fund to help businesses and organisations in Scotland seize the opportunities that the circular economy presents. Now is the time to turn big ideas into action. "Developing a circular economy places significant emphasis on innovation and new thinking to find high value uses for materials, drive new technologies and develop infrastructure."