Islanders asked to give their views on Scotland’s impending deposit return scheme


ZERO Waste Scotland has invited residents of Scottish islands to have their say on the country’s impending deposit return scheme (DRS) in a webinar to be hosted on 25 November.

The arrangement of the online meeting comes after fears were raised over the scheme causing cash flow issues for island businesses, and councils facing hefty charges when shipping the returned containers to the Scottish mainland.

DRS is currently scheduled to come into effect on 1 April 2021. As it stands, a 20p deposit will be imposed on the consumer purchase of drinks containers made from glass, plastic and aluminium – the deposit will be retrieved once the container is returned to a specialised DRS machine, which are expected to be found in stores and public buildings.

Zero Waste Scotland say that any queries and views gathered from the webinar will be fed back to the Scottish Government’s islands impact assessment. The assessment looks to ensure that any significant and unique impacts on island communities are captured and mitigated against.

The session will be open to residents of Islay, Orkney, Arran, Bute, Lewis, Skye and Shetland. With the Scottish Government funded organisation keen to hear from island-based drinks producers, retailers, hospitality businesses, and other key stakeholders – such as transport businesses and community organisations.

Jill Farrell, chief operating officer at Zero Waste Scotland, said, “This is your chance to help ensure Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme works for the whole of Scotland. We want to hear from residents, businesses and community groups so that we can benefit from their insight into how this scheme can be made a success on Scotland’s islands. 

“Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will deliver fantastic environmental benefits, not least by cutting Scotland’s CO2 emissions and reducing the amount of bottles and cans littered in the country. We want to make sure those benefits are felt across the whole country and that the scheme works in every community.

“From logistics and transport, to cash flow and tourism, Scotland’s islands will have different needs to the rest of the country. We are looking forward to discussing how we can work together to make sure Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme delivers for everyone.

The webinar will take place on Monday 25 November from 11:00 to 12:30. To sign up, visit

Participants can also submit questions in advance, by emailing