Scotland confirms 20p deposit return scheme

It will cover PET plastic bottles, like most fizzy drinks and water bottles, steel and aluminium cans and glass bottles

The Big Zero report

The Scottish Government has confirmed plans for a deposit return scheme for glass, cans and some plastic drink containers.

A deposit of 20p will be charged on the sale of products that are covered by the scheme, which can be redeemed when customers return their empty bottles or cans for recycling or reuse, either over the counter or by using a reverse vending machine.

The scheme will cover online retailers too but businesses that sell drinks to be opened or consumed onsite, such as pubs and restaurants, will not have to charge the deposit to the public.

The materials covered by the scheme are PET plastic bottles, like most fizzy drinks and water bottles, steel and aluminium cans and glass bottles.

All types of drinks in these containers and those above 50ml such as whisky miniatures and up to three litres in size, such as a beer keg, are included.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “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. I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering PET – the most common form of plastic packaging – aluminium 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.”

Draft legislation is to be published later this year.

Latest Podcast