Scottish Deposit Return Scheme to be delayed until summer 2023

The introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) for bottles and cans in Scotland has been delayed and is now set to go live across Scotland on 16 August 2023. 

The announcement by the Scottish Government follows an independent review which highlighted the impact of Covid-19 on the scheme.  

DRS was originally due to be introduced in this year and this was then pushed back to July 2022 but has now been delayed for a further year.   

The Scottish Government is planning to work with retailers on a voluntary basis on a phased implementation which will enable consumers to start returning their bottles and cans for recycling from November 2022. 

ACS CEO James Lowman said: “We welcome the clarification of the timelines for the introduction of a deposit return scheme in Scotland, this will allow more time to design and implement a scheme that will be workable and effective for both businesses and consumers.  

“This is still a tight timescale and we all have to commit to working at pace over the next twenty months.   

“There are still a number of important decisions to be made around handling fees as well as addressing key operational issues around manual handling and the handling of glass bottles. We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government and Circularity Scotland ahead of implementation to communicate the key priorities of our sector.” 

Consumers will be charged a deposit of 20p when they buy a drink that comes in a single-use container made of PET plastic, steel and aluminium, or glass.  

The scheme will require all retailers in Scotland to take back containers and charge a 20p deposit on eligible containers, refundable on return. 

 

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