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A scheme for Scotland

It’s ambitious - Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will collect 90% of specified cans and bottles for recycling, placing this among the world’s top performing schemes.

Designed with Scotland’s unique needs in mind, it will work for you whether you live in Stromness or Stranraer. With over 17,000 return points across the country, it will be just as easy to return a drink as it is to buy one.

It’s accessible - Being able to return a container to wherever you have bought it from will ensure easy access for all groups.

Tackling climate change

It will encourage more and better recycling. Recycling is one of the most effective actions we can take as individuals to tackle climate change. The scheme will cut emissions by the equivalent of around 4 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years. That’s an average of around 160,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking 83,000 cars off the road in the UK.

Game-changer for recycling

More bottles and cans will be recycled and will produce a better quality of recyclate. We currently recycle just half of all containers.

Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme aims to capture an estimated 1.5bn drinks containers each year for recycling, or 90% of all containers included in the scheme for recycling within three years, potentially almost doubling the amount currently recycled. It will increase the quality of recycled material collected here.

Preventing litter

The scheme will tackle a visible source of litter that blights our town centres, country paths and burns, cutting it by a third. It will reduce the £46 million of public money spent cleaning up litter every year, and the wider negative impacts of litter (including on local businesses, house prices, community wellbeing and crime), representing at least a further £361 million in costs to our society and economy.

It's circular

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will help us tackle single-use, throwaway culture. It’s a proven behaviour change initiative, that incentivises us all to do the right thing. It is a significant milestone towards a circular economy and is one piece of a broader platform of change to transition away from a make-use-dispose society.

It reinforces Scotland’s leading position – Scotland is making a name for itself as a frontrunner in the ‘circular economy’, where we make the best use of our resources and minimise waste. Our deposit return scheme will help keep us in the front runners of circular economy nations.

Economic benefits

It offers direct economic benefits through litter prevention and reducing carbon emissions as well as the potential for greater recycling and reprocessing opportunities here in Scotland.

Communities will benefit

Schools and other community organisations will be able to get involved by registering to act as return points. Plus all the benefits of less litter, and the collective benefits of tackling climate change.