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Drink container recycling deposit draft rules go out to comment

11 September 2019

Legislation to set up a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in Scotland has been published for public comment.

The draft rules will apply a 20p deposit to aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, the most common type of bottle for products such as fizzy drinks and bottled water). Online retailers will be included in the scheme; and non-retail spaces such as schools or other community hubs will be able to act as return locations.

Their aim is to increase both the amount and quality of this material being recycled and reduce litter, helping to combat climate change as well as cutting the amount spent on clearing up litter. Consultation on a scheme has been ongoing since the Scottish Government announced its intentions in 2017.

Made under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the regulations are subject to the super affirmative process, which requires pre-legislative scrutiny as well as an affirmative vote in the Scottish Parliament. They will be available for comment by the Parliament and the general public until 10 December 2019.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented: “Our deposit return scheme is the first national scheme of its type in the UK. It is ambitious in scale and scope, and gives the people of Scotland a clear and straightforward way to do their bit for the environment.

“Research has shown that the scheme is anticipated to reduce the £46m spent each year on litter removal and is expected to reduce emissions equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off our roads, while also enjoying widespread public support across Scotland.

“There is a global climate emergency which demands we show ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations. This process will enable us to fine tune our proposals to ensure that they work well for industry, retail and the public, and we will continue to work with the Implementation Advisory Group to that end.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland added: “These regulations put Scotland on track to deliver a world class deposit return scheme. Placing a 20p deposit on drinks bottles and cans shows that these materials have a value to our economy, and a cost to our climate if they are wasted. 

“That 20p incentive will boost recycling and cut Scotland’s CO2e emissions, playing a part in the fightback against the climate emergency.”

Click here to access the consultation.

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