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Orcadians have their say on a Scottish deposit return scheme

Residents of Orkney were keen to have their say on a deposit return scheme for Scotland when Orkney Islands Council, on behalf of Zero Waste Scotland, had a presence at Kirkwall and Stromness HWRCs yesterday (24 September) to discuss deposit return with locals.

25 Sep 18

Many people shared their thoughts on how a deposit return scheme could work best for them – making their views count on choices such as the level of deposit, which products should have a deposit on them, where they should be able to take their empty drinks containers to get the deposit back, and whether they’d like the option to donate the deposit instead.

Under a deposit return scheme, customers pay a small deposit when they buy drinks in, for example, a bottle or a can, and then get the deposit back when they return the empty container for recycling. A public consultation on a deposit return scheme for Scotland was officially opened by the Scottish Government on 27 June 2018 and will close today.

Councillor Graham Sinclair, Chair of the Development and Infrastructure Committee, Orkney Islands Council, which will be facilitating the event for Zero Waste Scotland said:

“I’d hope that the local community in Orkney would support any attempts to reduce the increasing amount of plastic pollution in the environment, particularly in our seas and along our coast. Earlier this year we consulted on Orkney’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2018-2022, which sets out what can be done locally to help protect habitats and species across four themes: Greenspace, Farmland, Peatland and the Marine Environment. The Plan includes an action to support initiatives to reduce the non-essential usage of single-use products that contain plastics.

“This new deposit return scheme will provide a financial incentive to hand back plastic bottles and increase the quantity that can be recycled.”

Andrew Pankhurst, Recycling Campaigns Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“We wanted as many people as possible to have their say; and by doing so, you’ve helped us consider how a deposit return scheme could work best for Scotland.

“We’ve all seen the footage from Blue Planet II of the tragic effects that items we commonly use can have on wildlife when they end up in our oceans and landscape. That’s why we’re asking for people across Scotland to share their views on a Scottish deposit return scheme – which represents a huge opportunity to improve recycling, reduce litter and create economic opportunities for Scotland at the same time.”


This event was part of a series of public events that Zero Waste Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, delivered around the country. A live webinar was also held on Monday 27 August for those who couldn’t make it to an event.

More information on deposit return is available on the Zero Waste Scotland website at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/deposit-return-scheme


Notes For Editors

About Zero Waste Scotland and Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme

  • Zero Waste Scotland is working on behalf of the Scottish Government to consider what kind of deposit return scheme could work best for Scotland.  This work has involved consultation with hundreds of people, including many businesses and members of the public. 
  • A public consultation on a deposit return scheme for Scotland was officially opened by the Scottish Government on Wednesday 27 June, 2018.  People of Scotland are urged to have their say by contributing their views to the consultation, which is available on the Scottish Government website at https://consult.gov.scot/environment-forestry/deposit-return-scheme
  • The consultation focuses on 12 main factors which need to be considered when designing a deposit return scheme, such as how much the deposit should be; where containers can be returned; and who will manage the scheme. 
  • As part of the consultation, four hypothetical examples have been created – to help people understand how different factors of a deposit return scheme could vary to create different scheme designs with different outcomes for Scotland. 
  • Zero Waste Scotland exists to create a society where resources are valued and nothing is wasted. Our goal is to help Scotland realise the economic, environmental and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources. We are funded to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s circular economy strategy and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn


For media enquiries contact:

Yvonne Gallacher, PR contractor, Zero Waste Scotland                                                                                                  
m: 07576 785 001
e: yvonne.gallacher@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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