New survey finds Scots overwhelmingly in favour of imminent deposit return scheme

FOUR in five people in Scotland back the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS), according to a recent YouGov survey.

Commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, the survey showed that 77% of those asked were in favour of DRS being introduced into the country.  Helping the environment (72%) and reducing litter (70%) were the most common reasons given as to why people are in favour of the scheme.

DRS is expected to be put in action in 2020, and will see a 20p deposit placed on single-use drinks containers – with the consumer being able to retrieve their deposit by taking the empty container back to any DRS machine. 

Zero Waste Scotland say they expect to see 90% of bottles and cans returned for recycling, due to the financial incentive for consumers.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said, “Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will make it easy for people to do something good for the environment. 

“People in Scotland are more environmentally aware than ever before but it can be hard to know how to respond to something as monumental as the climate emergency at an individual level. This scheme will give them an action they can do week in and week out to help cut Scotland’s carbon footprint. 

“By taking back your empty bottle or can, you won’t just get your 20p back. You’ll also be reducing the amount of raw materials that are used to make bottles and cans. 

“That means you’ll be playing a part in Scotland’s response to the climate emergency every single time you take your bottle or can back to be recycled.”

Roseanna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform, added, “I am pleased, but not surprised, to see the strength of support for Scotland’s Deposit Return scheme, with its multiple environmental benefits a key factor. 

“We all – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – have a role to play in ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change. As well as giving everyone renewed incentive to reduce litter and tackling our throwaway culture, our ambitious Deposit Return Scheme will give the people of Scotland a simple yet effective way to help reduce carbon emissions, by reducing the volume of raw materials being used and instead supporting a thriving, circular economy.”      

Glass bottles are expected to be included in the scheme, with PET plastic and steel and aluminium cans having already been confirmed as materials covered by DRS. Drinks sold to be opened and consumed on sites – such as restaurants and pubs – will not have deposits imposed on the container.