By Daniel Hunter

Government plans to reduce waste and preserve Scotland's resources are broadly the right approach, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) says.

Responding to the launch of a three month consultation, the SRC says working co-operatively with all business sectors, including retail, is the best way forward.

"There are a lot of encouraging plans in this consultation. The Scottish Government is for the most part demonstrating a clear commitment to working with business on reducing waste, which is the key to progress and in everyone's interests. Regulation adds costs and burdens without being the best way to encourage change," Ian Shearer, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said.

"There aren't just environmental reasons for running sustainable companies. It's increasingly essential for any business which wants to be profitable. Retailers have voluntarily led the way on many initiatives, such as diverting waste from landfill, reducing the carbon footprint of their delivery networks, and pioneering new work looking at thousands of everyday products as well. Government benefits from that expertise.

"A compulsory charge on carrier bags misses this wider picture - plastic bags account for a fraction of one per cent of household waste and today's bags use 70 per cent less plastic than 20 years ago. However, if the Government is set on this course, it's good to see the proposals largely follow the scheme already in use in Wales. This would give retailers some consistency."

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