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Last updated: 01 April 2022

Total waste generated

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Waste Generated in Millions of Tonnes
Year Total Waste Household Commercial and industrial Construction and demolition
2011 11.96 2.61 4.16 5.20
2012 10.06 2.50 3.76 3.80
2013 11.06 2.41 3.86 4.79
2014 10.00 2.46 3.37 4.17
2015 11.28 2.47 3.71 5.09
2016 10.68 2.50 3.15 5.03
2017 11.45 2.46 3.40 5.59
2018 11.45 2.41 3.24 5.81

This indicator reports the annual amount of waste, in millions of tonnes, generated in Scotland from all sources: household, commercial, industrial and construction and demolition.

For waste generated from all sources, there is a target of a 15% reduction from 2011 levels by 2025, derived from ‘Making Things Last: a circular economy strategy for Scotland’.

Source: The data used for this indicator are produced by SEPA. The data on total waste generated are available here.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: The National Performance Framework indicator for waste generated uses the figures for household waste only. Information is available on the National Performance Framework website. Additional information on other waste data indicators is available from Zero Waste Scotland here.

Please note that only figures for household waste are available for 2019 and 2020. Figures for commercial and industrial, and construction and demolition cannot be produced for 2019 and 2020 due to the cyber-attack on SEPA in December 2020. Figures for 2021 are expected to be published in 2023.




Carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Year Carbon footprint of waste (MtCO2e)
2011 15.20
2012 13.04
2013 12.36
2014 11.66
2015 11.09
2016 11.02
2017 11.93
2018 10.58

This indicator reports the annual worldwide Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with Scotland’s waste expressed in millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e).

Source: The data used in this indicator is derived from the SEPA Waste from All Sources data and published by Zero Waste Scotland. The most recent report on the carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste is available here.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Carbon footprint of Scotland’s waste indicator information is available from Zero Waste Scotland.




Scotland’s material footprint

Indicator Updated: 16 December 2021

Year Scotland’s Material Footprint per capita (tonnes)
2011 20.18
2012 22.63
2013 12.47
2014 16.73
2015 16.93
2016 23.72
2017 18.39

This indicator reports the total quantity of raw materials worldwide used to produce the goods and services we consume in Scotland. It identifies the volume and types of materials being extracted in Scotland, imported into Scotland and exported from Scotland.

There are three main flows of materials through Scotland’s economy:

  • Domestically extracted materials: natural resources, like oil and gas, wood, and crops, that we extract or produce right here in Scotland

  • Imports: raw materials and products that we import from abroad, from steel to laptops to fruit and veg

  • Exports: raw materials and products that we ship overseas, from oil and gas to whisky and clothes

Source: The Material Flow Accounts for Scotland are published by Zero Waste Scotland. The data was published for the first time in June 2021.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Scotland’s material footprint indicator information is available from Zero Waste Scotland.