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Published - 30/06/2017

Deposit returns a step closer for Scotland

The Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, announced today that the Scottish Government has commissioned detailed work on how a potential ‘deposit return scheme’ might operate in Scotland.

This means that possible design options for the system will be investigated, and the costs and benefits for them defined. Options will then be put to public consultation before a final decision is made.
In response to the news, Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society, says:
"We are thrilled to see Roseanna Cunningham announce this decision today, which is the vital next step towards a decision on deposits. The Marine Conservation Society has long argued for a system of this sort, based on the evidence our dedicated volunteers collect every year of increasing plastic pollution on our beaches and in our seas. If a final decision is taken to adopt this approach in Scotland, we are confident that other parts of the UK will follow where Scotland leads. Deposits for drinks containers won't solve all our litter problems, of course, but there is no more obvious next step to take if we want to reduce the problem of plastics in our oceans."
MCS has submitted evidence to the Scottish Government showing that a Deposit Return System is needed, highlighting the increase in drinks containers found on our beaches by our Beachwatch volunteers. We have demonstrated how easy Reverse Vending Machines are to use to return bottles and cans. We have also received over 6000 #wildbottlesighting reports all the way from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway highlighting how many people care about this issue and want to see a change in how many bottles and cans are blighting our beaches and seas.

Calum Duncan continues: "We believe a  Deposit Return System is the change Scotland needs and we congratulate the Cabinet Secretary on her bold decision to take this crucial next step to looking at Deposit Return in Scotland. We believe that if the system is well designed then the next step would be to implement it across Scotland and in a couple of years we would all be wondering what the fuss was about - just like the 5p carrier bag charge."
For more information:
Deposit Return Systems

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