Zero Waste Scotland launches call for evidence on return of deposit scheme to recycle drinks cans and bottles


A call for evidence has been announced by Zero Waste Scotland to consider whether the nation should launch a drinks can and bottle deposit scheme.

It comes on the back of a report prepared by consultancy Eunomia that looked at how a deposit scheme could work in Scotland.


The research has assessed the benefits and challenges of a deposit scheme in Scotland. Evidence has been gathered from a range of key players including deposit return experts and operators in other countries, drinks companies and trade bodies, retailers and logistics companies.

The study looked at the role that the scheme could play in reducing litter, complementing local authority recycling services and improving recyclate quality.

It also investigated the costs of the system as well as modelling a deposit of between 10p and 20p per item.

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “Scotland has set ambitious targets for moving towards zero waste, and we know that many drinks cans and bottles are not currently being recycled and may end up as very visible litter.

“Deposit return systems have been used in many other parts of the world to prevent waste and increase recycling. So this new report, which assesses how such a scheme could work in Scotland, is an important contribution to the debate about how we achieve our zero waste goals and move to a more circular economy.

“The research explores how a deposit return system could work in Scotland, and the issues to consider in designing and implanting a system. That’s why we are also launching a call for evidence today to understand the impacts of such a system and how it could work most effectively.”

View the full report here