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Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme

Scotland will soon be the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. It will be available across all of Scotland and will make it easier for everyone to recycle their used bottles and cans, including all drinks sold in PET plastic, metal and glass.

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How will it work?

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.

When will it start?

Legislation was laid in the Scottish Parliament in September 2019. Once these regulations are passed by the Scottish Parliament, which is expected to happen this year, there will then be an implementation period of at least 12 months before the scheme starts.

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The benefits

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.

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will offer a range of benefits

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

77% of Scots want a Deposit Return Scheme

31,000 fewer plastic bottles littered every day

67,000+ additional tonnes recycled each year

17,000+ return points nationwide

90% of containers included in the scheme will be captured for recycling

£61million a year could be saved tackling the indirect impacts of litter

4million tonnes of CO2eq emissions will be cut over 25 years

News and Blog posts

The latest press releases, news articles and blog posts on Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme.