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Example 4 - Take back to any place of purchase (with cartons and cups)

Example 4 is similar to Example 3, where you would be able to take your drinks containers back to any place that sells drinks in disposable containers. 

The difference is that Example 4 would collect a wider range of drinks containers and would be jointly run by a public body and the companies responsible for drinks packaging. 

What would this example look like?

This scheme is similar to Example 3, and would mean that any shop that sells drinks in disposable containers would have to provide a deposit return service so you can get back the deposit you paid on the container when you bought the drink. You would be able to take your container back to any of these shops – it wouldn’t have to be the same one you bought the drink from.

The difference with Example 4 is that it would collect a wider range of drinks containers. It would collect PET plastic, which is the kind that fizzy drinks and bottled water are usually made of, and also a type of plastic called HDPE which is the kind that milk bottles are usually made of. It would also collect aluminium and steel cans, drinks cartons, glass bottles and some single use cups like coffee cups.

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How much would the deposit be?

In this example, the deposit would be 10p.

Who would run it?

This example would see an organisation made up of representatives from the public sector and leaders from companies responsible for drinks packaging being set up to run the scheme. This organisation would make sure the scheme runs properly, and some of the money made by the deposit scheme would pay for its staff and running costs. It would need to make sure the shops 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.

Having a public sector organisation involved would be a possible way to run the deposit return scheme so that it has a wider benefit to local people. This could be through providing job opportunities for people who may otherwise find it hard to get work, or creating new jobs in Scotland to recycle the materials.

Places that sell drinks in disposable containers, such as shops and cafes, would have to provide a system in store to give people back the deposits on any drinks containers covered by the scheme (PET and HDPE plastic, cans, drinks cartons, glass bottles and cups).

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

The closest equivalents to this example are the ones in Scandinavia and the Baltic states which see around 90% of drinks containers being recycled. This option goes further than that by collecting additional materials to the ones in those countries, so it would be unique to Scotland.

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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