The announcement that the city will publish Scotland’s first Circular Economy Route Map came as Glasgow hosted the 2018 Circular Economy Hotspot, a major international circular economy event, which ran from October 30 to November 1 at the SEC.

Cllr Susan Aitken said: “The First Minister has announced that the opportunity for Scotland in embracing the circular economy runs into the billions of pounds. I want Glasgow to be at the forefront of seizing that opportunity. 

“The work done by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Zero Waste Scotland in Circular Glasgow has already put us far ahead of most of our competitors but the opportunities really are limitless. 

“Our Route Map will point a way to building better homes and communities, reducing food insecurity and playing our part in dealing with the world’s addiction to single use plastic. 

“Increasing the number of homes powered by renewable or circular energy to 15% by 2030 is an ambitious target but we will need to be ambitious in the coming years.” 

The First Minister also used her speech to announce the latest businesses to receive support through the Circular Economy Investment Fund, with over £700,000 going to help three Scottish businesses accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

The Circular Economy Investment Fund is administered by Zero Waste Scotland and supported by the European Regional Development Fund. 

The three businesses are: 

  • Total Homes, £312,385: a three-sector partnership delivering house clearances for Housing Associations in Glasgow, ensuring that household appliances, furniture and other goods are re-used.
  • Revive Eco, £234,358: based in Glasgow, they collect used coffee grounds and recycle them to create high value bio-oils, which have a wide range of valuable applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food and drink. The business is built upon partnerships with large coffee chains and small independent coffee stores and garden centres.
  • Angus 3D, £175,000: this grant enables the Tayside start-up to bring latest metal 3D printing technology to Scotland. This will reduce waste in the design process and extend the lifespan of machinery by allowing obsolete parts to be manufactured from 3D scans. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These reports show the exciting potential of a circular economy where reducing waste and investing in keeping materials in circulation for as long as possible can release an estimated £1 billion of economic opportunities for Tayside, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. This demonstrates the overall scale of the opportunity for Scotland. 

“It’s great to see projects like Total Homes, Revive Eco and Angus 3D embracing our circular economy and getting maximum value from resources. This £700,000 investment will help these businesses re-use and repurpose products which will benefit communities by creating jobs and reducing emissions. 

“Scotland is already leading the way with its ambitious and challenging targets for recycling which are above and beyond the EU targets. However, we want the narrative to move beyond recycling to re-use, repair and remanufacturing of items.

“In this light, we are currently considering next steps for introducing a deposit return scheme which will help us achieve our ambitions.”

Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, has pioneered the cities and regions approach to develop a circular economy in Scotland. An initiative of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Circular Glasgow is a partnership alongside Zero Waste Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Circle Economy from the Netherlands. 

To date Circular Glasgow has directly engaged with over 500 businesses through a range of tools, alongside a suite of events. 

Alison McRae, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce senior director, said: “We are delighted to see more than £500,000 being invested into two Glasgow businesses who are pioneering in this area. It is great to see the initial momentum being led by our Circular Glasgow partnership continuing to build and there is significantly more to come. 

“Glasgow Chamber of Commerce sees the circular economy as an opportunity for the businesses across our diverse urban economy to innovate and become future proof.

“Just last week we took this out to China and today we are looking forward to exchanging experiences with the international delegations from more than 20 countries and to sharing some of our Glasgow journey to date.” 

Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73 million Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies. 



Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Circular Glasgow

Glasgow City Council

Zero Waste Scotland

Circular Economy Hotspot