MSPs have warned plans by the Scottish Greens minister Lorna Slater to reduce waste and boost recycling rates are limited in their ambitions.

Members of Holyrood's Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee welcomed the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill but said that that on its own its measures do not make "the systems-wide" changes.

Their report, published on Tuesday, stated: "The measures proposed by the Scottish Government in this bill are well intended and most should have a positive impact. However, the Committee remains unconvinced that the bill on its own will create the systems-wide change needed in Scotland to fully close the loop. There is a heavy focus in the Bill on waste management, littering and flytipping; less so on tackling consumption and concrete measures to encourage repair and reuse."

It went on to say that the Scottish Government must consider further action, for instance by persuading people to consume less and encourage more people to repair and reuse items.

Scottish Green minister Lorna Slater last year introduced the bill which sets out a range of measures including to introduce charges for single use drinks containers and other throwaway items.

The bill also makes it a criminal offence for a householder to breach existing duties over waste disposal, and creates a new fixed penalty regime to enforce these responsibilities.

It further requires local authorities to comply with a code of practice regarding bin collections and recycling and allows ministers to set recycling rates for councils

The bill also establishes a new penalty regime regarding throwing litter out of cars and other vehicles which would make the keeper of a vehicle liable to pay a penalty.

The committee's report made a number of recommendations including that ministers should set of targets for local authorities on waste collection and recycling, and that a uniform approach to kerbside collections should be brought forward across Scotland to help people recycle more. 

The report also made clear that plans to introduce additional charging for single-use items must go hand in hand with proposals to encourage more use of reusable items, making this the social norm and a positive choice.

The committee believes that the costs for change must not all be borne by the consumer, and that producers have a huge role to play in reducing waste.

Committee convener, Edward Mountain MSP said: “The aims of this bill are well intended and will, on the whole, have positive impact. But with an estimated 98% of Scotland’s material use derived from virgin materials, progress towards a circular economy must pick up pace.

“We need fundamental systems-change which realises the value of products and supports reuse, repair and recycling. The bill is a step in the right direction – both speeding up the process and helping to establish circularity as society’s new ‘norm’.

“This is a wide-ranging bill, which will affect individuals, businesses and communities. Making important changes, such as making recycling bins the same colour across Scotland, would have a huge impact on behaviour and make a real difference.”

The committee also welcomed measures to reduce fly-tipping and littering but emphasised that penalties must be proportionate and given only when other options have been exhausted.

Because this is largely ‘framework’ legislation, the committee said that the Scottish Parliament must be given more time to scrutinise and consult, at times widely, upon future regulations brought in by the Scottish Government as a result of the bill’s enabling powers.