Scotland’s deposit return scheme is set to launch on August 16th, 2023, and it aims to reduce litter and increase recycling rates. But how will it work, and what impact will it have on consumers and businesses? Here’s what you need to know about Scotland’s upcoming deposit return scheme.
What is Scotland’s deposit return scheme?
Scotland’s deposit return scheme is a new initiative aimed at reducing litter and increasing recycling rates. Under the scheme, consumers will pay a small deposit on certain drinks containers, such as plastic bottles and cans, which they can then reclaim when they return the empty container for recycling. The scheme is expected to cover all retailers that sell drinks in containers of the specified size, including supermarkets, convenience stores, and vending machines.
How will the scheme impact consumers?
Scotland’s deposit return scheme will impact consumers in a few ways. Firstly, they will need to pay a small deposit on certain drinks containers, which they can then reclaim when they return the empty container for recycling. This may encourage consumers to recycle more and reduce litter. Secondly, consumers may need to adjust their shopping habits to ensure they are purchasing drinks in containers that are covered by the scheme. Finally, consumers may need to take extra steps to return their empty containers for recycling, such as visiting a designated recycling point or returning them to the retailer where they purchased the drink.
What types of containers will be included in the scheme?
The deposit return scheme in Scotland will include all drinks containers made of glass, plastic, or metal that are between 50ml and 3 litres in size. This includes bottles, cans, and cartons for drinks such as water, juice, and alcoholic beverages. However, containers for milk, milk substitutes, and medical products will not be included in the scheme. It’s important for consumers and businesses to be aware of which containers are covered by the scheme to ensure they are following the regulations and benefiting from the deposit return system.
How will the scheme be enforced and regulated?
The deposit return scheme in Scotland will be regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). They will be responsible for ensuring that businesses comply with the regulations and that the scheme is being implemented correctly. Retailers will be required to register with SEPA and provide regular reports on the number of containers they have sold and the number of containers they have taken back for recycling. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in fines or other penalties. Consumers will also be able to report any non-compliance they observe to SEPA.
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If you would like to know more about the scheme then please read our blog posts or visit the Zero Waste Scotland website where you can find all the information you need.