Further research is to be undertaken by Zero Waste Scotland to investigate the possibility of introducing a deposit return scheme in the country.
At the request of Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, the organisation will look deeper into challenges raised in the first study into a scheme by Zero Waste Scotland, especially on the costs for retailers and implications for small stores.
Richard Lochhead (pictured) said: “Like carrier bag charging, deposit return schemes attach a value to items that can otherwise be viewed as waste, and have proven successful in other countries at reducing litter and increasing recycling.
“The evidence gathered by Zero Waste Scotland highlights some of the potential benefits and concerns associated with a deposit return scheme for Scotland. I am listening closely as I consider whether such a scheme – which has worked successfully in other countries – would be right for Scotland.
“In light of Belgium’s recent suggestion for an EU-wide deposit return scheme to help tackle litter and recycling, I intend to invite ministers from Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK Government in spring to discuss these findings.
“In the meantime, I have asked Zero Waste Scotland to undertake further work to look into the important issues raised by businesses, NGOs, and local government which include the implications for small stores, costs to retailers, and changes in customer behaviour where a deposit scheme has been in place.”
The initial study by Zero Waste Scotland explored the role that such a scheme could play in reducing litter, complementing local authority recycling services, and improving the quality of materials recycled.