Scotland to implement a plastic deposit return scheme

May 8, 2019 | Environment
Plastic bottles: Scotland will pay 20p for any plastic bottle returned | Photo: Creative Commons

Scotland is about to become the first country in the United Kingdom to implement a deposit return scheme for used drink cans and bottles.

The Scottish government revealed that the deposit fee will be set at 20p and is valid for all drinking containers, including plastic bottles, glass and aluminum and steel cans.

If approved by the Scottish Parliament, the new legislation will be introduced across the nation by 2021.

As a result, retailers selling drinks will offer the 20p deposit refund for all empty polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging delivered by consumers.

Every year, Scottish citizens use around 2.5 billion single-use drink containers. The new bill will prevent discarded, non-reusable bottles from ending up in the ocean and the streets.

"There is a global climate emergency, and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations," underlined Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform secretary.

The Scottish government hopes to boost recycling rates and encourage producers of drinks packaging to use more eco-friendly materials.

"Our plans for the Deposit Return Scheme are gathering pace with widespread consensus demonstrating that a well-run, appropriately-targeted scheme could improve the environment, change attitudes to recycling and litter, and support a more circular economy."