Deposit Return in Scotland – how do you want it to look?

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 2 July 2018

Scotland Environment Secretary, Roseanne Cunningham, has announced a public consultation to find out what the people in Scotland want from a deposit return scheme (DRS) which will help cut the amount of single-use drinks containers entering the marine environment.

DRS in use
© Jack O'Donovan

The consultation sets out that deposit return is not only an effective way of increasing recycling rates and preventing drinks containers from ending up as litter, but it is also an economic opportunity.

Roseanna Cunningham,
Scotland Environment Secretary

Calum Duncan, MCS Head of Conservation Scotland, says this is an excellent opportunity to share evidence and research to ensure the best-designed system for Scotland, which will result in a reduction in the number of bottles and cans spoiling our beaches in future.

Roseanne Cunningham said: “The consultation sets out that deposit return is not only an effective way of increasing recycling rates and preventing drinks containers from ending up as litter, but it is also an economic opportunity.

“A deposit return scheme will provide a new secure source of high quality material which will create opportunities to develop our recycling infrastructure in Scotland and create jobs.”

MCS wants to see a system that will capture metal and glass as well as single-use plastic bottles and cartons. The charity also says it must be a system whereby you can return your drinks container to wherever you bought it from.

Michael Gove, who attended the Scottish Environment Committee prior to the announcement called the Scottish Government ‘brave and right’ to commit to DRS.

Calum Duncan says MCS wants to now see movement in the same direction from England and Wales too: “We encourage everyone to get involved and respond to the consultation and will be working closely with the Have You Got The Bottle? coalition to ensure as many views, ideas and suggestions are fed back to the Scottish Government as possible so watch this space for more information over the coming weeks.”

Roseanne Cunningham said she has written to her counterparts in the other UK administrations to “initiate a dialogue to ensure that we approach this in a way that benefits communities everywhere in the UK.”

The consultation runs until September 25th.

Actions you can take

  1. Take your own reusable bottle out and about
  2. Find out more about Scottish Wildlife
  3. Learn about Deposit Return Systems
  4. Survey showing public support
  5. Browse Scotland's Marine Atlas
  6. Join the Plastic Challenge
  7. See our map of reported bottle sightings
  8. Download our 'Living without single-use Plastic' guide
  9. Report your #wildbottlesighting using our form

Did you know?…

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces

Every day millions of microplastics enter the sea from personal care products such as scrubs and toothpastes

Healthy seas lock in carbon and help protect the planet from the devastating effects of climate change