Deposit Return Scheme
Scotland is getting ready to transform the way we recycle.
The Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of a deposit return scheme for Scotland, meaning that Scotland will soon be the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers.
As part of our recycling system It will be available across all of Scotland from 1 July 2022, and will make it easier for everyone to recycle their used bottles and cans, including all drinks sold in PET plastic, metal and glass.
Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme has been designed to make it easy for us all to do the right thing. People pay a small deposit of 20p when they buy a drink in a single-use container and then get the deposit back when they return the empty bottle or can.
The scheme will go live for the public on 1 July 2022. However, an independent Gateway Review into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the go-live date for Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme was announced by the Cabinet Secretary in March 2021.
The Scottish Government appointed a scheme administrator in March 2021 – Circularity Scotland Ltd is a newly formed, not-for-profit organisation and will manage the logistics of the deposit return scheme.
Other parts of the regulations will come into effect before the scheme goes live, to make sure it is ready on day one.
Deposit return schemes are already established in many countries where they are helping to tackle climate change and reduce litter. Scotland is joining them, with a scheme designed to meet our unique needs, to tackle our throwaway culture and help protect our environment for generations to come.
With Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme going live in 2022, businesses should familiarise with any return point obligations they will have.
Under some circumstances, businesses will be able to apply for an exemption. Find out more about what this means.
Under Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme regulations, all retailers who sell, to consumers on their premises, in-scope drinks for take away must operate a return point.
Other organisations for example, transport hubs or shopping centres can apply to become a return point. We refer to these as voluntary return points. Find out more.
The scheme has been designed to work for everyone in Scotland. It will improve recycling rates, increase the quality of recycling materials, and significantly reduce litter.
20p deposit on drinks containers
70+% of Scots want a Deposit Return Scheme
34,000 fewer plastic bottles littered every day
76,000 additional tonnes recycled each year
17,000+ return points nationwide
90% of containers included in the scheme will be captured for recycling
£62million a year could be saved tackling the indirect impacts of litter
4million tonnes of CO2eq emissions will be cut over 25 years
The latest press releases, news articles and blog posts on Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme.
New planning rules that make it easier to install a reverse vending machine come into effect today.
Applications to become a scheme administrator for Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme are open, paving the way for an organisation(s) to be established to ensure the effective operation of the scheme.