New fund to support SME efforts to boost efficiency and reduce waste

28th August 2012

Small and medium sized enterprises in Scotland can apply for funding to help make changes to their business that will reduce waste and improve efficiency - steps which could potentially see them save cash too.

The funding, available from Zero Waste Scotland, is designed to help businesses wishing to make capital investments which aim to reduce raw material use, minimise waste in production or packaging, or who wish to employ short-term skilled personnel to undertake a specific project focussing on reducing waste within their organisation.

It has been estimated that by taking simple steps to improve resource efficiency, businesses in Scotland could save around £1.4billion.

Examples of resource efficiency improvements include introducing measures on production lines to prevent product loss or installing software which improves process control.

Marissa Lippiatt, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Research has shown that small businesses are often unaware about how to become more resource efficient or perceive cost as a barrier to taking action.1   In fact, many changes require only small up-front costs and can actually save businesses money in the long-run.

“Scottish firms could save up to £1.4billion by adopting simple waste prevention measures such as investing in re-usable packaging to replace single use items or installing energy efficient hand driers in bathrooms to minimise paper towel use. 

“Also, new waste regulations which will come into effect in 2014, will require all businesses in Scotland to separate key recyclable materials – paper and card, plastics, metal, and glass – for recycling.  For businesses in food production, preparation, or retail, a separate food waste collection will also be required.

“Reducing waste in the first place will mean that only a minimum amount is left for recycling or disposal.”

Applications for the grant funding can be made at  The final deadline for applications is 5pm on January 18 2013.

1 ‘Business Waste Prevention Review’, DEFRA, March 2011

Notes to editors:

  • Zero Waste Scotland works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to help them reduce waste, recycle more and use resources sustainably.
  • Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Zero Waste Plan.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at

For further information about Zero Waste Scotland contact:

Nicola McGovern, Communications Manager
Tel: 01786 433965
Mob: 07540 516156

Chloe Bellany, Communications Executive
Tel: 01786 433964
Mob: 07540 517 127