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Industry expertise will help make Scotland’s deposit return scheme a success

Scotland’s deposit return scheme has the potential to dramatically increase recycling rates for single-use drink containers. Making that happen will require the support and expertise of the sectors that produce and sell those drinks.

That’s why the Scottish Government has announced the creation of an Implementation Advisory Group. The group will provide industry input and guidance on delivering an effective scheme, as well as testing assumptions and decisions about its implementation.

To highlight the role of industry in implementing the scheme, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive Iain Gulland joined Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham to visit Highland Spring’s facilities in Blackford, Perthshire.

The benefits of deposit return are not limited to our environment and consumers – there could also be big opportunities for businesses. Highland Spring recently launched their eco bottle, made from 100% recycled plastic. This shows the demand for recycled materials, a demand that could be met by the supply of recycled materials from Scotland’s deposit return scheme. 

Iain Gulland and Roseanna Cunningham visit Highland Spring

Commenting on the role of the Implementation Advisory Group, Iain Gulland said:

“Scotland’s deposit return scheme is a chance to dramatically increase the recycling rate for the two billion drinks containers in circulation in the country. Making that happen will require the support and expertise of the people that produce and sell those drinks, and we’re pleased to have the involvement of representatives from across a range of sectors.

“Deposit return schemes have already proven very successful abroad, and some of the organisations represented on this group have experience of operating in those markets. With so much evidence and expertise to draw on, we can make Scotland’s deposit return scheme truly world leading.”

The membership of the Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group includes:

  • British Soft Drinks Association
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Natural Hydration Council
  • Scotch Whisky Association
  • Scottish Beer & Pub Association
  • Scottish Grocer’s Federation
  • Federation of Independent Retailers
  • Scottish Wholesale Association
  • Scottish Licensed Trade Association
  • Scottish Retail Consortium
  • UK Hospitality
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