Have your say on deposit return scheme for drinks containers

Members of the public are being asked to have their say on a proposed deposit return scheme for drinks containers.

Under a deposit return scheme, customers pay a small deposit when they buy a drink in a bottle or can, and get the money back when they return the container for recycling.

Zero Waste Scotland hosted its first public engagement event at Glasgow Fort on 27 June to get feedback on the scheme.

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: ‘This is the first in a number of public engagement events we will be running over the summer. With a public consultation now live, we want as many people as possible to have their say before the consultation closes in September.’

Zero Waste Scotland has been tasked by the Scottish Government with designing options for Scotland’s deposit return scheme, and has prepared four examples of how different choices could work together.

These are available to view in the public consultation document. They are there to help people understand how a scheme could work, and make an informed choice about what they would prefer.

The Scottish Government has pledged to match the EU’s commitment to require all plastic packaging to be 100% recyclable by 2030.

It has announced a ban on plastic-stemmed cotton buds, has banned microbeads, and has set up an expert panel to provide advice on items symbolic of our current throwaway culture – such as disposable cups and plastic straws.

Scotland remains the only devolved nation to commit to a deposit return scheme, which fits clearly into the nation’s vision for a more ‘circular’ economy in which products and materials are made to last.

Iain Gulland continued: ‘Single-use items are a huge issue in Scotland and across the world, with more than two billion drinks containers in circulation in Scotland alone – around 694 million of which are plastic bottles.

‘As a nation we currently only recycle around half of the drinks containers we consume – yet deposit return has enormous potential to increase recycling and reduce litter – as well as bringing economic benefits, including job creation.

‘This is a landmark step in Scotland’s ambitious goals around ‘making things last’. I encourage everyone to make their thoughts known on deposit return – and help shape the best possible scheme for Scotland.’

Over the summer Zero Waste Scotland will be hosting a series of events aiming to raise awareness of Scotland’s commitment to introduce a deposit return scheme and engage the public on the matter.

The events will vary, including those in communities, at major summer events, in areas of high footfall, and some organised in partnership with schools and businesses.

More information on deposit return, including a link to the public consultation, is available on the Zero Waste Scotland website at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/deposit-return-scheme