Scotland’s ambitious Deposit Return Scheme design takes shape

Scotland’s ambitious Deposit Return Scheme design takes shape

May 13, 2019
Marcia González

New legislation in Scotland to introduce a deposit return scheme with a 20p refund will be introduced later this year

Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change.

The ambitious scheme is based on successful international equivalents and will be widely accessible, with all shops that sell drinks offering deposit refunds to customers.

The Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group is providing industry input and guidance on the scheme’s interaction with consumers, producers, retailers and the hospitality industry, which will be key to its success.

“Scotland was the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme as part of our wider efforts to prevent discarded drinks containers from ending up in our streets and seas,” said Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. “We are now the first to outline a design – one that is ambitious in scale and scope, and which gives the people of Scotland a clear and straightforward way to do their bit for the environment.

“There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations,” Cunningham continued. “I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering PET – the most common form of plastic packaging – aluminum and steel cans, and glass, with a deposit refund set at 20p.

“Supported by international evidence, our plans for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme are gathering pace with widespread consensus demonstrating that a well-run, appropriately targeted scheme could improve the environment, change attitudes to recycling and litter, and support a more circular economy.”

“This will be a game-changer for recycling and the circular economy in Scotland,” agreed Jill Farrell, chief operating officer, Zero Waste Scotland. “By giving people an extra incentive to do something good for our environment, and having a consistent approach across Scotland, we are confident it will be easier for all of us to do the right thing. This will improve the volume and quality of recycling and help tackle litter in the process.

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