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Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

And that's all

And that concludes our live coverage from the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 14 May 2015.

Holyrood at night

Remember you can catch up on business from Holyrood at

BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

We will be back on Tuesday 19 May, until then have a good weekend.

Decision time


The amended Scottish government motion from the circular economy debate is passed unanimously.

Debate ends

In conclusion Mr Lochhead says creating a circular economy is an economic and environmental necessity.

Local authorities

Mr Lochhead says in the past there have been 32 different ways of recycling waste in Scotland.

The environment minister says having all the local authorities work together to have common procurement and recycling practice will improve things for the better.

Bottle recycling
Bottle recycling

He says it is in the financial interests of the local authorities to do this.

Product design

Recycling diagram

The rural affairs and environment secretary says product design is reserved to the UK government and stresses how important it is in recycling.

This requires co-operation at a UK and European level.

Getting older!

Mr Lochhead says he felt older after listening to Linda Fabiani and Dave Thompson.

Mr Lochhead and Ms Fabiani

Ms Fabiani intervenes and jokes: "If you know what's good for you cabinet secretary, apologise."

Heart warming

Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead says the debate has been very heart warming, to hear the huge support of the whole concept of a circular economy.

Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead
Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead

BACKGROUND: Walter Stahel

  • The concept of a circular economy has been developing for some time.
  • In particular, the Swiss architect and economist Walter Stahel put forward the concept of a "cradle to cradle" economy in a paper he wrote for the European Union in 1976.
  • In contrast to the conventional economic system based on taking, making and disposing of things, he described a non-linear economy running in loops, reusing materials, and with big implications for job creation, competitiveness, resource savings and waste creation.
  • Mr Stahel went on to found the Product-Life Institute in Geneva in 1982, refining the idea of the circular economy and attempting to eliminate the idea of "waste" altogether.
  • There is no waste in nature, goes the argument... waste is food. This is a revolutionary (and frightening) way of thinking about our human all-consuming world.

BACKGROUND: Circular economy

Listen here to Dame Ellen MacArthur talk to the BBC about circular economies.

When Dame Ellen circumnavigated the globe she got first-hand knowledge of the finite nature of the world's resources.

Dame Ellen MacArthur
Dame Ellen MacArthur

When she retired from sailing she created a foundation to promote the concept of a circular economy.

Circular economy

Recycling symbol

Ms Boyack says there is the need for a new economic model and calls for a wider debate in the parliament to include all MSPs looking at a circular economy.

Labour view

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack says this has been an excellent debate.

Ms Boyack says there are immense challenges in securing a green economy.

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack
Labour MSP Sarah Boyack

The Labour MSP says knowledge of how to recycle is essential.


Scottish government's Safeguarding Scotland's Resources strategy: is the Scottish government's programme to reduce waste and deliver economic and

environmental benefits - to position Scotland to respond to major global pressures and opportunities.

Scottish government
Scottish government

'Complete change'

Mr Fergusson says a complete change of attitude to waste will be required.

Not just reccyling

Mr Fergusson says it is not just about more and better recycling, it is about the economics of the circular economy.

The smaller the loop the more profitable it is, he says.

Reycling bins

The Tory MSP says profit and profitability have to be a factor.

Sustainable world

Mr Fergusson says a circular economy allows resources to remain in use for as long as possible, then to be reused.

Recycling bottles

The Conservative MSP says at its most simple it is out with the disposable world we inhabit and in with a sustainable world we need.

Conservative closing

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson says the whole idea of a circular economy is a "simple, no brainer of a principle".

Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson

Regulatory barriers

Mr McGrigor says his amendment is a marker seeking to prevent extra costs and regulatory barriers being passed to businesses.

Scottish businesses

In his amendment, Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor says he urges the Scottish government to work with Scottish businesses and their representative organisations to ensure that unnecessary regulations and bureaucracy are avoided.

The Conservative MSP says if the rest of the world lived like Europeans we would require three planets, emphasising the need for recycling and marshalling our energy resources.

Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor
Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor

Mr McGrigor says there is good work being done by many businesses, charities and organisations in moving towards a circular economy.

World leader

Ms Beamish concludes by saying if we all work together we can become a world leader in circular economy and that will be to the benefit of everybody.

Dumped On

Unison Scotland's report Dumped On: Working in Scotland's waste management services :


The report concludes:

"Waste management staff are vital to any kind of civilised life.

As we become ever more aware of the need to conserve resources their functions are becoming more of a social and political issue.

This is not being reflected by how they are funded or treated and most definitely not in how they are paid.

Waste management services matter - and so do the people who provide them.

They deserve better than being dumped on."

Circular economy is key

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says working towards a circular economy is key but she is concerned about workers in the waste sector.

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Ms Beamish says 23 councils failed to meet the Scottish government's recycling target of 50% waste being recycled by 2013.

Labour view

In her amendment, Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says she recognises the necessity of developing new and transferable skills with Skills Development Scotland and industry and educational partners.

Ms Beamish says she recognises concerns about the pressures experienced by those working in waste management services, as Scotland implements its waste strategy, leading to the circular economy, evidenced in Unison Scotland's survey, Dumped on: Working in Scotland's waste management services.

The Labour MSP says that the funding pressures are experienced by local authorities in meeting recycling targets and developing new model and that she recognises the role of the third sector in developing the circular economy.

Change to a circular economy

The cabinet secretary concludes by saying he wants to encourage everyone to participate in this debate and recognise the importance of it in Scotland's economy and environment and to see a change from Scotland's traditional economy to a circular economy.

BACKGROUND: Bag charge

A mandatory

carrier bag charge was introduced in Scotland for the first time last year.

Shoppers now have to pay a minimum of 5p per bag, with many retailers donating proceeds to good causes.

Last May, MSPs voted to bring in the new regulations in a bid to tackle Scotland's litter problem, but the fee does not just apply to plastic bags.

It is hoped that the new minimum charges for carrier bags will help tackle Scotland's litter problem
Getty Images
It is hoped that the new minimum charges for carrier bags will help tackle Scotland's litter problem

It has also been imposed on single-use carriers made from eco-friendly materials.

Resource Efficient Scotland

Mr Lochhead says he welcomes the progress made in establishing Resource Efficient Scotland, the Scottish Materials Brokerage Service and the Scottish Institute of Remanufacture, building on the Scottish government's Safeguarding Scotland's Resources strategy.

The Environment Secretary says he believes that Scotland should continue to show leadership in this important area while proposals for EU-wide action emerge later this year.

BACKGROUND: Ellen MacArthur and circular economy

Dame Ellen MacArthur joined the scores of world and business leaders at the World Economic Forum to

champion a radical solution to consumer waste.

Ellen MacArthur
Getty Images
Ellen MacArthur has successfully switched from the world of sailing to that of business

The so-called "circular economy" means products are intended to be more sustainable as their design is based around reusable parts, allowing for a simpler recycling process.

Dame Ellen told BBC News that the approach could mean cost savings for industry, and cheaper products for consumers.

Ellen McArthur Foundation

Mr Lochhead says the

Ellen McArthur Foundation has identified a saving of 1.3 trillion globally if we move to a more circular economy.

Circular economy roadmap

The cabinet secretary sets out his intention to publish a circular economy roadmap.

Important issue

Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead says this is the first time MSPs are debating this important subject and he is sure it won't be the last.

Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead
Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead

A circular economy is retaining the value of our resources - this means designing, reusing, repairing and remanufacturing he says.

The minister says Scotland is now landfilling less and recycling but business as usual is not an option, "we need to act now" he says.

FMQs issue resolved

Prior to this debate, Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith said the presiding officer had had time to reflect on the point of order raised by Education Committee Convener Stewart Maxwell at the end of first minister's questions.

Ms Smith says the presiding officer had a chance to examine the official report and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson had referred to a letter from the committee to the Scottish government as "reporting back", not a report on educational attainment by the committee, as Mr Maxwell had claimed.

Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP
Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP

The deputy presiding officer says Ms Davidson subsequently referred to the letter and as such the matter is now closed.

High value use

In his motion Mr Richard Lochhead says there is potential opportunities for Scotland of moving toward a more circular economy, in which products and materials are kept in high-value use for as long as possible.

Mr Lochhead says he recognises that realising the substantial economic and environmental benefits means rethinking the way in which products and services are designed and procured.

Circular Economy, (Waste Management) debate

Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary is leading a debate entitled 'Circular Economy, (Waste Management)'.

Coming up

There is only one item of business this afternoon which is a Scottish government led debate on the Circular Economy (Waste Management).

Welcome back

Welcome back to

BBC Scotland Democracy Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 14 May 2015.


And that's lunch

We will be back at 2.30pm with further coverage of the chamber in Holyrood.


Ms Hyslop says there is great change in how the media delivers its coverage.

The cabinet secretary concludes saying our relationship with the media has also changed.

Ministerial response

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop says there is a widespread debate in Scotland about our relationship with media.

Public engagement by politicians with the media is essential to maintain trust in the political process, says Ms Hyslop.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop

A thriving media sector is important she says.

Reporters Without Borders

Independent MSP John Finnie says the promotion of news is terribly important.

Mr Finnie says he is very supportive of

Reporters Without Borders.

Independent MSP John Finnie
Independent MSP John Finnie

He says they are asking the UN security council to refer the situation their members are facing in Syria and Iraq to the international criminal court.

Mr Finnie says journalists in Scotland do not face similar pressures in Scotland.

Critical and well supported media essential

Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor says that critical and well supported media are essential in a democracy.

Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor
Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor

Mr McGrigor says the Highlands and Islands are fortunate to have such a fantastic array of newspapers.

Media ownership

Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm raises the issue of media ownership.

Mr Chisholm says David Cameron had said, after the hacking scandal, never again should a media group get so powerful.

Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm
Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm

The Labour MSP says his party would have addressed this had it been elected last week.