Drinks producers can join a scheme administrator to fulfil their obligations
The administrator(s) of the scheme will be responsible for its day-to-day management.
Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme for bottles and cans creates new obligations for drinks producers. Most drinks producers are likely to nominate a scheme administrator to fulfil these on their behalf.
It is anticipated that producers will pay a small fee – one that depends on the number of containers they put on the market – to help fund this service.
Scheme administrator(s) will be the key contact for retailers and hospitality businesses, collecting returned cans and empty bottles. They will also pay the handling fee and reimburse return points for the deposits they refund.
Applications to become a scheme administrator will open as soon as the regulations have been adopted. Scheme administrator(s) make key decisions on fees, payment terms and collection services and communicate these to producers, retailers and other affected businesses.
Neither the Scottish Government nor Zero Waste Scotland will run the scheme. That is the job of the scheme administrator(s), which is expected to be an industry-led, privately owned and not-for-profit private-sector enterprise. The scheme will be regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Deposit return extends producer responsibility. Producers now have significant obligations – financial and physical – for the treatment and disposal of post-consumer products.
The formation of administrators is one of the areas being considered by the Implementation Advisory Group (IAG).
Applications to form a scheme administrator will open when the regulations have passed into law. This is expected to happen in spring or summer of 2020.
Anyone can apply. However, a prospective scheme administrator has to:
These obligations include:
A full list of obligations is found in in the regulations.
Any potential scheme administrator will have to demonstrate how it can service the entire country, including Scotland's Islands.
Producers and retailers told us, through the Scottish Government consultation on deposit return, that this type of scheme is their preferred option.
A privately owned, non-for-profit scheme administrator is the most common option adopted by recent schemes internationally. It minimises costs and achieves high rates of recycling.
Examples of this approach include Returpack in Sweden and Infinitum in Norway.
The scheme is expected to be paid for through three sources of funding. These are unredeemed deposits, revenue from the sale of material and the producer fees.
Some containers will not be returned because the consumer recycles or disposes of them elsewhere.
There is a strong demand from reprocessors for high-quality PET, glass, aluminium and steel.
Producers will likely pay a fee on every item placed on the market, covering the costs of collecting and recycling drinks containers. This will be paid to scheme administrator(s).
Scheme administrator(s) will pay a handling fee to return points, operators of take-back services and hospitality businesses.
This fee covers the equipment, infrastructure, materials, staff time and other costs associated with the scheme.
For more information on how this will be calculated for your business, see the Retailer and Hospitality pages.
To understand how money flows through the scheme, see the Cash flow page.
The administrator(s) of the scheme will be regulated to make sure that they meet the environmental targets in the regulations and deliver a quality service to retailers and others.
SEPA is the enforcement agency for all offences under the regulations. Its enforcement powers include being able to question the staff of producers, operators and administrators, to request documents and to make test purchases.
Detailed questions on payment and collection services and the levels of the producer and handling fees will be answered by the scheme administrators.