Scotland's got the bottle!

Scotland has become the first nation in the UK to commit to a deposit return system for bottles and cans. This system will include PET plastic bottles (for example fizzy drinks and water bottles), glass bottles and steel/aluminium drinks cans. All drinks that come in those container types will be included, both soft drinks and alcoholic. Prices for drinks in those types of containers will include a deposit of 20p per container. The scheme aims to capture 90% of drinks containers for recycling within three years.

Image Credit: Andy Wright

A Scottish Deposit Return System for drinks packaging.

How would it work in practice? Easy. You pay a small deposit when you buy cans and bottles, and get it back when you return them.

Find out more about deposit return

And could it work here? Of course. Deposit return works reliably around the world, and there's no reason Scotland can't be next.

Read the international evidence

Why does Scotland need a deposit return system?

If we want to reduce litter and clean up Scotland, nothing else comes even close.


Less litter for Scottish councils to pick up means cost savings for local taxpayers.

Local Councils

When people get money back for recycling, it changes attitudes and changes behaviour.


Collecting empty packaging more efficiently provides better materials for industry.

Circular Economy

There will be more good quality jobs in manufacturing as well as in recycling.


Litter and landfill aren't just wasteful, they're bad for the planet.

Climate Change

We want an ambitious and inclusive deposit system for Scotland.


‘University of¬†Dundee¬†were part of Zero Waste Scotland’s ‘Reverse Vending trial’ in 2012-13, where we introduced reverse vending machines on our campus. A survey of our students during the trial showed that over 70% of those respondents who had used the machines were encouraged to recycle more.
Because of this deposit return system, we have definitely seen greater willingness among our students to recycle more. We have actually continued using the reverse vending machines and they are now a permanent feature that people use. People in Scotland deserve the opportunity to be rewarded for recycling more through a national deposit return system and we encourage other universities and colleges to take part in this campaign.’

University of Dundee

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