Photo of rows of drinks cans for Scotland's deposit return scheme

Deposit Return Scheme

09 Jun 23 1 minute read

On 7 June 2023, the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity announced that Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will be delayed October 2025 at the earliest. This is to align with schemes in the rest of the UK.

The four administrations are collaborating to ensure they deliver a DRS which is simple and efficient for industry and consumers across the UK.

As a result, it is likely elements of Scotland's scheme will need to be redesigned to be fully interoperable with the UK. You can read the full statement about the announcement on the Scottish Government website:

What is DRS?

Deposit return schemes are used across the world and make it easy for us all to do the right thing. People pay a small deposit when they buy a drink in a single-use container and then get the deposit back when they return the empty bottle or can.

Pile of empty plastic water bottles
children holding up the earth with their hands

Environmental benefits

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will offer a range of benefits: environmental, economic, and community-based.

Scheme background

Together with the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland conducted in-depth evidence gathering and consulted with hundreds of organisations.

A person holding a box with clear plastic bottles ready to be recycled
RETURN word made with building blocks.

Return point exemptions

Return point exemptions have been paused while consideration is given to interoperable schemes across the UK. 

If you would like to contact Scottish Government regarding your exemption or application, you can email: