Zero Waste Scotland calls for deposit and refund scheme to support recycling

14 May 2015 (Last Updated May 14th, 2015 18:30)

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) is calling the Scottish Government to implement a scheme that would give customers refund for recycling drinks bottles, cans and cartons.

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) is calling the Scottish Government to implement a scheme that would give customers refund for recycling drinks bottles, cans and cartons.

The move follows a feasibility study into deposit return systems conducted by Eunomia.

As part of the research, Eunomia gathered information from key players potentially affected, including deposit return experts and operators in other countries, drinks companies and trade bodies, and retailers and logistics companies.

"This new report, which assesses how such a scheme could work in Scotland, is an important contribution to the debate about how we achieve our zero waste goals and move towards a more circular economy."

The deposit and refund system will require customers to deposit £0.10 to £0.20 when they buy a drink, which will be refunded when they return the can or bottle for recycling.

This scheme is expected to help reduce litter, while boosting the recycling of these materials and their value.

Countries such as Germany, Sweden and Norway have implemented such schemes to cut litter.

ZWS CEO Iain Gulland said: "Scotland has set ambitious targets for moving towards zero waste, and we know that many drinks cans and bottles are not currently being recycled and may end up as very visible litter.

"Deposit return systems have been used in many other parts of the world to prevent waste and increase recycling. So this new report, which assesses how such a scheme could work in Scotland, is an important contribution to the debate about how we achieve our zero waste goals and move towards a more circular economy.

"The research explores how a deposit return system could work in Scotland, and the issues to consider in designing and implementing a system. That's why we are also launching a call for evidence today to understand the impacts of such a system and how it could work most effectively."