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Example 3 – Take back to any place of purchase

Example 3 would see you being able to take your drinks containers back to any place that sells drinks in disposable containers.

What would this example look like?

This example would mean that any place that sells drinks in disposable containers would have to provide a deposit return service. You would be able to take your container back to any of these – it wouldn’t have to be the same one you bought the drink from. It would mean there would be a lot more places where you could claim your deposit back in your local area, compared to Examples 1 and 2.

Bigger shops may have machines to collect the bottles and cans and return people’s deposits. Smaller shops or cafes with less space could return deposits over the counter.

This example would cover some types of plastic bottles, aluminium cans, steel cans and glass bottles. The type of plastic bottles would be ones made of a plastic called PET, which is the most common kind for fizzy drinks and bottled water.

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How much would the deposit be?

In this example, the deposit would be 10p.

Who would run it?

Similar to Examples 1 and 2, the companies responsible for drinks packaging would need to work together to create an organisation that would run the deposit return scheme. This organisation would make sure the scheme runs properly, and some of the money made by the deposit scheme would pay for staff needed to run the scheme and the costs involved in running it.

It would need to make sure the shops and other places that sell drinks paid in the deposits they had taken on drinks they had sold, and also that they received money for all the deposits they returned to customers. It would also arrange for the containers to be regularly collected and recycled.  

Places that sell drinks in disposable containers would have to provide a system to give people back the deposits on any drinks containers covered by the system (PET plastic, cans and glass bottles).  This could be by machine or over the counter.

How effective are these types of systems elsewhere in the world?

Schemes like this in Scandinavia and the Baltic states see around 90% of drinks containers being recycled. We estimate with a 10p deposit similar schemes in Scotland would capture around 80%, and with a 20p deposit we would capture around 90%.

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