Scotland’s deposit return scheme to go live in 2023

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater set out plans for a phased implementation of the scheme and said the target of achieving 90% collection rates by 2024 will be maintained

Big Zero Report 2022

The Scottish Government has announced its deposit return scheme for bottles and cans will go live in 2023.

The scheme, which aims to boost recycling rates via a 20p deposit on single-use drink containers, was initially due to start in April 2022.

However, it has been delayed, with the scheme now expected to be put in place on 16th August 2023.

Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater set out plans for a phased implementation of the scheme and said the target of achieving 90% collection rates by 2024 will be maintained.

The Scottish Government is working with retailers on a voluntary basis to enable people to start returning their bottles and cans for recycling from November 2022.

Under the scheme, consumers will pay a 20p deposit when they buy a drink that comes in a single-use container made of PET plastic, steel, aluminium or glass.

They will get their money back when they return the empty container to one of the return points across Scotland.

Ms Slater said: “This will be the first scheme of its kind in the UK and one of the most environmentally ambitious and accessible in Europe.

“Implementing a scheme on this scale is a massive national undertaking involving tens of thousands of producers and retailers. Given the challenges that the pandemic and Brexit have placed upon these businesses, it is disappointing – but understandable – that the independent review concluded the original start date was no longer feasible.

“Despite calls to water down the scheme by removing materials or waiting for other nations to catch up, we have maintained our ambition and ensured that the scheme will still meet its original target of achieving 90% collection rates by 2024.”

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