Paying a 20p refundable deposit when you buy a glass bottle, can or PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottle is just over a year away.
Circularity Scotland Limited has been named by the Scottish Government as the new administrator to oversee operation of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
A not-for-profit body, Circularity Scotland represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers.
The DRS will require consumers to pay a 20p deposit when they buy a glass bottle, can or PET plastic container. The money is then reimbursed when the empty containers are returned, contributing to a circular economy.
Circularity Scotland will work with companies throughout the supply chain – from producers through to hospitality, wholesalers and retailers – to deliver a system that is expected to collect at least 90% of drinks containers across Scotland.
£62 million saving
Zero Waste Scotland research predicts that 34,000 fewer plastic bottles, cans and glasses will be littered every day with the introduction of a DRS in Scotland.
With thousands of return points set up nationwide, £62 million a year could be saved tackling the indirect impacts of litter.
Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “This is a huge milestone and a mark of the tremendous amount of work that has been done to prepare a practical and sustainable Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland. We’re extremely pleased that Circularity Scotland will be taking the scheme forward.
“Scotland’s DRS will be an important part of our journey towards a more circular economy, challenging throwaway culture and contributing to the fight against climate change: reducing emissions by nearly 160,000 tonnes of CO2eq each year – the equivalent of taking 83,000 cars off the road.”
Commenting on the can and bottle deposit plan, Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, said: “This is a significant milestone in a scheme which will improve the quality and quantity of our recycling, contribute towards our net-zero targets and significantly reduce litter.
“I am grateful for the industry’s collective commitment to move ahead with the scheme, despite the pressures of Covid-19 over the past year and we look forward to working with them to make the deposit return scheme a success.”
Donald McCalman, interim director of Circularity Scotland, described it as a “milestone moment”, adding: “The Deposit Return Scheme is a gamechanger for Scotland’s ambition to become a greener and cleaner country. It supports a circular economy and the Scottish Government’s ambitious plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.
“The appointment of Circularity Scotland as a Deposit Return Scheme administrator is a milestone moment – it allows us to begin delivering a world-class DRS that works for everyone.
“We will work closely with companies and trade associations throughout the supply chain to develop and operate a DRS system that works for all.”
In 2017, the Scottish Government first announced its ambition to introduce a DRS in Scotland to increase recycling rates and reduce litter.
DRS regulations passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020 paved the way for drinks producers and importers to nominate a scheme administrator to fulfil the DRS obligations on their behalf.
Earlier, this month, the Scottish Government commissioned an independent gateway review to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the go-live date for the scheme, which is currently scheduled for July 2022.
It is estimated that four million tonnes of CO2eq emissions will be cut over 25 years as a direct result of a well-designed DRS.
CSL represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers. Founding members include – but are not limited to – AG Barr, C&C Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, Highland Spring Group, the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Soft Drinks Association and the Natural Source Waters Association.
The appointment of CSL comes two months after they completed their application to the government for approval.
At the time, an industry source revealed a “robust” document had been submitted, detailing how much stores will get paid for handling returns and how frequently bottle deposits will be collected.
Discount supermarket chain Lidl has already begun trialling its own Deposit Return Scheme at four locations in Scotland, including one at a store in Dundee city centre.