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Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland?

recyclingDo you think Scotland should have a deposit return scheme?

The Scottish Government has put out to the public a consultation on implementing a scheme using research from Zero Waste Scotland, that would work for us.

The scheme aims to:

  • increase the quantity of target materials captured for recycling
  • improve the quality of material captured, to allow for higher value recycling
  • encourage wider behaviour change in the use of materials
  • deliver maximum economic and societal benefit for Scotland

The intention is to encourage more people to recycle, encourage more efficiency in separating out materials to reduce ‘contamination and to incentivise the use of designated recycling points.

“A deposit return scheme is a key way of ensuring that material which can be productively recycled does not leak from the resource system.”

Obviously there are costs and design implications for producers across the UK and therefore, both Governments and manufacturers have to work together to make this a workable scheme.

Here’s how it would work

  • The producer pays the deposit amount for each item they place on the market to the system operator
  • A wholesaler buys goods directly from the producer and pays the unit price plus deposit
  • A retailer buys goods from wholesaler and pays for the unit price plus deposit (or buys directly from the producer)
  • A consumer buys goods and pays retail price plus deposit
  • The consumer then returns the container and receives the deposit.

In a scheme that uses dedicated drop-off points run directly by the system operator, this money is paid directly from the administrator to the customer from the money paid by the producer

In a scheme which allows consumers to return items to retailers, the retailer reclaims the deposit plus handling fee from the system operator, paid from the amount provided by the producer

Examples of how it might work in practice

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s planned deposit return scheme is a landmark in the nation’s circular economy journey, with the potential to drive inward investment and create jobs in Scotland at the same time as improving recycling and reducing litter.

“Zero Waste Scotland has consulted with hundreds of organisations on deposit return to date – from retailers and manufacturers to councils and community groups – and we are delighted to see options progress to public consultation stage.

“I would encourage everyone to have their say on what Scotland’s deposit return scheme should look like, and how it should work, by responding to the consultation. By doing so you’ll be helping to shape the best possible deposit return scheme for Scotland.”

You can find all the details and the survey here:

A Deposit Return Scheme

And more information  and the consultation link here: A Deposit Return Scheme Consultation

The consultation closes on September 25th 2018


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