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Our role in Scotland's deposit return scheme

We have been tasked by the Scottish Government with advising on the design of Scotland’s deposit return scheme, working with partners to provide support and advice on its implementation.

Together with the Scottish Government we have consulted 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.

Four example designs of how Scotland’s deposit return scheme could work were prepared, which formed part of the Scottish Government’s public consultation exercise that ran between 27 June and 25 September 2018.

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

With the involvement of partners including local authorities, retailers, tourist attractions and other public agencies, we co-ordinated 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. The engagement from the public during the consultation 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.

Since the consultation closed on 25 September 2018, Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Government have continued a programme of face-to-face engagement with all of the key groups and parties interested in a deposit return scheme, to ensure their views and evidence have been taken into account in the development of the scheme design.

For those who couldn’t make it to a public consultation event, we produced a webinar, which is still available online and has beenviewed over 7,000 times to date.

Zero Waste Scotland has contributed to continued engagement with key stakeholders and to the establishment of the Implementation Advisory Group. We’re supporting the development of a full Equality Impact Assessment, Business Regulatory Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment, consulting with a range of organisations in the process.

The scheme design has now been published and presented to the Scottish Parliament.

We will do all we can to meet the ambition set by the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform for Scotland to have one of the most effective deposit return schemes anywhere in the world.

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