Zero Waste Scotland publishes report on Scotland’s raw material consumption footprint

29 June 2021

Article: 55/2607

Zero Waste Scotland has published a report revealing the size of Scotland’s consumption footprint, finding that the average person in Scotland consumes 18.4 tonnes of raw materials every year, the equivalent of 50 kilogrammes (kg) per week. 

The report describes the scale and nature of Scotland’s consumption by calculating all the raw materials used to make products, such as oil and metal ores, and all the finished products consumed, whether made in Scotland or imported.  

In key findings from the report: 

  • There is a relationship between consumption in Scotland and the global climate crisis. 
  • Consumption in Scotland is unsustainably high, in part due to the quantity of items bought, but also due to how we operate as a society. 
  • Resource intensive production processes are favoured, resulting in new goods made from virgin materials being used, rather than goods that are re-used, repaired, made from recycled materials or from remanufacturing. 
  • A system-wide change is required, enabling everyone in Scotland to choose more sustainable ways to live.

Source: Zero Waste Scotland, 23 June 2021