Scotland could generate an additional £800 million by using food and drink waste to create biofuels and other materials.
That’s the prediction from Zero Waste Scotland, which says this makes up only part of the total 27 million tonnes of biomaterial that could add value to the Scottish circular economy.
The new report from the group claims by ‘designing out’ waste by keeping materials and products in high-value use for as long as possible, the country could deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits.
It says other high value materials such as residues from whisky production, agricultural by-products such as manure and even wastewater sludge could also be put to good use.
Zero Waste Scotland also highlights opportunities for new job creation in Scotland, particularly in rural and coastal areas where many of the waste materials arise.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am delighted that this report shows there are huge opportunities for Scottish business in biorefining. We need to stop seeing waste and start seeing opportunities.
“These resources are important and can make high-value chemical products like plastics, paints, plane parts and aviation fuels, with Scotland now considered to be a leader in industrial biotechnology development.”