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Information for stakeholders

Scotland was the first part of the UK to announce that it is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging.

This approach to dealing with empty drinks containers aims to bring an increase in recycling, improve the quality of material collected for recycling, help combat littering, and prevent plastic and other materials polluting our rivers, oceans and countryside. 

How are Zero Waste Scotland working with stakeholders?

We have been tasked by the Scottish Government with designing a preferred scheme for Scotland providing support and advice on its implementation.

We have done that by consulting with hundreds of organisations – from retailers and manufacturers to councils and community groups – learning from countries that already operate a deposit return scheme and building on our existing research.

Zero Waste Scotland also prepared four examples of how Scotland’s deposit return scheme could work, which formed part of the public consultation document which ran between 27 June and 25 September 2018.

The examples demonstrated how different choices on deposit return could work together – such as the materials included and location of drop-off points.

Zero Waste Scotland also delivered a comprehensive programme of engagement with key stakeholders across the country, followed by a nationwide drive to gather views on the scheme from people in every local authority in Scotland. We were determined that as many people as possible should have the chance to have their say and this programme proved extremely successful, with large numbers of people engaging with our public events and online communications. It shows the appetite in Scotland for us all to live a more sustainable lifestyle and the understanding of a need for more care in how we dispose of the things we use. 

What stage is scheme design at? What’s happening next?

The public consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme closed on 25 September. The Scottish Government is currently analysing responses to the consultation, a response to which will be published in the coming months.

The responses are currently being analysed by the Scottish Government, with the preferred final scheme design to be published in 2019.

Zero Waste Scotland is also working on in-depth evidence to support the preferred scheme design, including: Full Business Case; full Equality Impact Assessment; Business Regulatory Impact Assessment; Strategic Environmental Assessment, 

The Scottish Government will then bring forward legislation for the introduction of a scheme.


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