Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland

The Scottish Government is consulting on a deposit return scheme for the country.

More than two billion drinks are sold in Scotland in single-use containers every year, and the recycling rates for drinks containers are not as high as we would like, estimated at around 50% depending on the container. By incentivising their return to a designated collection point, we will ensure that containers are properly recycled, becoming a high value resource rather than being lost through landfill or littering.

Deposit return offers the chance to embed a step change in recycling performance. Other systems in Europe are achieving capture rates of up to 95% for target materials compared with around 50% in Scotland at present.

Furthermore, plastic and metal in particular are very valuable materials. This value is reduced through ‘contamination’, in other words by being mixed in with other materials of lower value. Deposit return schemes offer a good opportunity to minimise contamination and maximise the value of the collected material. This is because items will be returned to a separate, not comingled system and will only be accepted into the system if they are the right kind of material.

To find out more or to take part in the consultation click here