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The benefits

It’s ambitious - Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will collect 90% of specified cans and bottles for recycling, placing this among the world’s top performing schemes.

It’s Scotland’s scheme – designed with Scotland’s unique needs in mind and will work for you whether you live in Stromness or Stranraer.

It’s easy - With over 17,000 return points across the country, it will be just as easy to return a drink as it is to buy one.

It’s accessible - Being able to return a container to wherever you have bought it from will ensure easy access for all groups

The benefits

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will offer a range of benefits: environmental, economic, and community-based.

Tackling climate change – It will encourage more and better recycling. Recycling is one of the most effective actions we can take as individuals to tackle climate change. The scheme will cut emissions by the equivalent of around 4 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years.  That’s an average of around 160,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking 85,550 cars off the road in the UK.

Game-changer for recycling – more bottles and cans will be recycled and will produce a better quality of recyclate.

We currently recycle just half of all containers. Scotland's deposit return scheme aims to capture an estimated 1.5bn drinks containers each year for recycling, or 90% of all containers included in the scheme for recycling within three years, potentially almost doubling the amount currently recycled.

It will increase the quality of recycled material collected here.

Preventing litter - The scheme will tackle a visible source of litter that blights our town centres, country paths and burns, cutting it by a third. It will reduce the £46 million of public money spent cleaning up litter every year, and the wider negative impacts of litter (including on local businesses, house prices, community wellbeing and crime), representing at least a further £361 million in costs on our society and economy.

It’s circular – Scotland’s deposit return scheme will help us tackle  single-use, throwaway culture. It’s a proven behaviour change initiative, that incentivises us all to do the right thing. It is a significant milestone towards a circular economy and is one piece of a broader platform of change to transition away from a make-use-dispose society.

It reinforces Scotland’s leading position – Scotland is making a name for itself as a frontrunner in the ‘circular economy’ – where we make the best use of our resources and minimise waste – and our Deposit Return Scheme will keep us in the front rank of circular economy nations.

The economy - It offers direct economic benefits through litter prevention and reducing carbon emissions as well as the potential for greater recycling and reprocessing opportunities here in Scotland.

Communities will benefit – Schools and other community organisations will be able to get involved by registering to act as return points. Plus all the benefits of less litter, and the collective benefits of tackling climate change.

Industry-funded – the Scottish Government is placing the responsibility on the producers (owners of drinks brands) to deliver a highly beneficial and ambitious recycling initiative for the people of Scotland.

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