Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change.

The ambitious scheme is based on successful international equivalents and will be widely accessible, with all shops which sell drinks offering deposit refunds to customers.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said:

“Scotland is leading the way on the fight against waste harmful to the environment. Our deposit return scheme – developed with strong input from the sector and society at large, while learning from the best practice in Europe – will tackle the discarded plastics, bottles, and cans that litter our streets, landscapes, and oceans.”

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s ambition which has ensured the scheme is comprehensive, and will sit alongside the best schemes internationally; as an important recycling provision in the wider sustainability agenda to lead the way on the fight against the Climate Crisis.”

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scotland was the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme as part of our wider efforts to prevent discarded drinks containers from ending up in our streets and seas, and is now the first to outline its design – one that is ambitious in scale and scope, and which gives the people of Scotland a clear and straightforward way to do their bit for the environment.


“There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations. I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering PET – the most common form of plastic packaging – aluminum and steel cans, and glass, with a deposit refund set at 20p.


“Supported by international evidence our plans for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme are gathering pace with widespread consensus demonstrating that a well-run, appropriately-targeted scheme could improve the environment, change attitudes to recycling and litter, and support a more circular economy.”

Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“This will be a game-changer for recycling and the circular economy in Scotland. By giving people an extra incentive to do something good for our environment, and having a consistent approach across Scotland, we are confident it will be easier for all of us to do the right thing. This will improve the volume and quality of recycling and help tackle litter in the process.

“With a huge network of places to return your bottles and cans, it will be just as easy to return a drink as it is to buy one in the first place. I’m proud of Zero Waste Scotland’s role in advising the Scottish Government on this design, which has resulted in a blueprint for a world-class scheme.”

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