Three of the five political parties sitting in the last Scottish Parliament have included in their manifestos pledges on deposit return. This is an encouraging sign that the public support for a Scottish deposit return system has been noted. A big thanks to our (now 26!) partner organisations from the business, recycling and NGO sectors for their efforts. Together, these partners represent around 300,000 people in Scotland.

Below are snapshots of deposit return mentions from Scottish party manifestos:

Scottish Greens

Scotland can be an environmental leader. 
Scotland can lead the transition to a resilient, low carbon society:
Moving to a circular economy. Green MSPs will campaign for a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks bottles where a small deposit paid when buying cans or bottles is refunded when empty containers are returned. This will be part of a wider campaign for a ‘circular economy’ that moves away from the traditional ‘make-use-dispose’ approach to products and instead keeps resources in use for as long as possible before recycling them back into supply chains.

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scotland’s Natural Environment (p 28)
We will promote the natural environment in Scotland. We will:
Develop a plan for a circular economy, using recycled materials as an economic resource and supporting a zero waste strategy, including taking forward successful pilot projects on reverse vending machines.

Scottish National Party

Reducing Waste and Making Things Last (p 29 of manifesto, p 59 of PDF)
We will continue to progress our ambitious target to recycle 70 per cent of all of Scotland’s waste by 2025 and bring an end to municipal biodegradable waste being sent to landfill by 2020. Food waste collections have now been rolled out to 61 per cent of households across Scotland and we will work towards our new target to cut food waste by a third by 2025.

Deposit and Return schemes can increase the amount of high quality material being brought forward for recycling and help to reduce litter. They attach a value to the materials and help end a throw away culture. We will give further consideration to proposals for a deposit and return scheme.

We will bring forward a Circular Economy and Zero Waste Bill to build the circular economy, promote recycling and take action to meet our food waste targets.

Scottish Conservatives
No mention of deposit return

Scottish Labour

No mention of deposit return

*As a bonus, we’ve included Welsh party manifestos as well, where three of the parties have included mentions of deposit return.*

Plaid Cymru

Loving Wales, Loving the planet. (p 135)
Waste: Plaid Cymru will work with producers to reduce packaging waste as part of the Zero Waste Wales commitment. Currently Welsh Government has a target of achieving zero waste by 2050, but we want to place Wales at the forefront of the circular economy and bring the target forward by a generation to 2030. We will achieve this through a combination of legislation and policy initiatives:
• promotion of reverse vending machines in public areas
• a pilot plastic, glass and can deposit scheme

Welsh Conservatives

Waste and Natural Environment (p 36)
A Welsh Conservative Government will:
Work with retailers to pilot a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans to incentivise recycling.


Welsh Liberal Democrats

Our Vision for the Environment and Energy (p 47)
The Welsh Liberal Democrats will:
Introduce a drinks container Deposit Return Scheme
Wales throws away far too much. We need to make sure we minimise waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling wherever possible. We will introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, so customers will receive a small cash payment when they return drinks bottles to a collection point.


Welsh Green Party
No mention of deposit return

Welsh Labour
No mention of deposit return