Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


For a cleaner, greener Scotland, we should reduce and reuse all we can. For those things we can't find a new use for, it's never been easier to recycle a whole range of materials.

Why recycle?

The more waste that can be diverted from landfill, the better. Decaying, biodegradable landfill waste releases greenhouse gas emissions and can cause pollution to leach into the ground. Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, by trapping more heat in our atmosphere. If we recycle as much as possible, however, less goes to landfill and precious materials can be used again to create new things instead of being used only once.

Making products from recycled materials uses less energy than if raw materials are used. The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle alone could run a washing machine for 10 minutes (and recycling glass saves on the other things you need to make new glass like oil, ash, sand and limestone too).

It’s easy to recycle – you'll find more than 3,000 recycling points across Scotland. We’re better at recycling than ever before – with more than 40% of Scotland’s household waste now being recycled – but we all have the opportunity to recycle more, more often.

Some communities in Scotland are even recycling materials themselves, like RECYCOLL on the Isle of Coll:

View more of our Climate Challenge Fund videos.

With kerbside recycling collections and local recycling centres on the doorstep, recycling at home is convenient and easy. And you might be surprised by just how much you can recycle these days.

Read more about materials you can recycle.

View more of our 'If everyone in Scotland' videos.

Figures provided by Zero Waste Scotland.

Benefits of recycling

  • Give the products you buy a second (or even third or fourth!) life by recycling
  • Ease and convenience – recycling points are all over Scotland, find your local recycling services here
  • Divert waste from landfill – and lessen pollution and greenhouse gas emissions to help create a cleaner, greener Scotland
  • Put valuable materials back into the manufacturing cycle
  • Energy savings can be made during the manufacturing process
  • Recycling supports jobs in collection, processing and future manufacturing