Scotland to run new deposit return scheme for bottles and cans

Scotland is taking its inspiration from Scandinavia where customers pay a surcharge on bottles and cans, which is then reimbursed once returned to the shop.

Plastic Scotland new scheme INKLINE
© _molins at Flickr

The Scottish government has announced its plan to introduce a new deposit return scheme for both bottles and cans in order to increase recycling effort and reduce littering.

The idea behind the new plan is that customers would now pay a surcharge when buying bottles or cans which will then be reimbursed when they return them to a shop.

Zero Waste Scotland has estimated hat the new scheme could save local authorities between £3m and £6m on litter clearance alone. The organisation reviewed various schemes conducted by Scandinavian countries as part of the consultation.

A Scottish government spokesperson said to The Guardian: “We have already confirmed that we are looking at new ways to ensure we keep as many valuable materials in circulation for as long as possible and deposit return is one of those options. We have asked Zero Waste Scotland to model a deposit return system to help us assess impacts and benefits.”

A recent opinion poll conducted by the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland showed that 78% of the Scottish publish are actually in favour of the scheme, despite some major drinks companies opposing the scheme.

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