News & Updates


June 3rd, 2019

In May 2019, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform announced the details of Scotland’s deposit return system. The 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 […]

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January 23rd, 2019

The Scottish Government are expected to announce their final decision on the design of Scotland’s deposit return system early in 2019. Which materials should an ambitious, world leading system include? The main arguments from parts of the drinks and retail industries seeking to be exempted or to limit their costs are around glass, larger plastic bottles, HDPE (the plastic used for milk bottles, amongst other things), and TetraPak cartons. We support an inclusive system that covers all materials used for drinks containers, including glass, metal and plastic.

Read our full Materials Briefing here.


October 23rd, 2017

A new report published this month finds that local authorities across England could save up to £35 million every year if a deposit refund system (DRS) for drinks containers was introduced in England.

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August 30th, 2017

The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland recently submitted this extensive briefing on deposit return systems to the Scottish Parliament.


February 10th, 2017

Every day, millions of drinks cans and bottles are discarded, many ending up as litter in our countryside and in our seas. Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our seas every year, killing marine life, threatening ecosystems and entering the food chain.

Deposit return means you pay a small deposit on every drinks can or bottle, which is refunded in full when you return your empty cans and bottles. More than a quarter of a billion people around the world use this system every day: it’s popular and it works, with many countries seeing 95% or more of their empty cans and bottles returned. This reduces litter, cuts costs for local councils, and boosts jobs in the circular economy.

Scotland was ahead of the curve on the plastic bag charge, and this is the obvious next step. With a deposit return system for Scotland we can not only help tackle our litter problem but also set a good example to the rest of the UK.

Sign our petition here.


February 3rd, 2017

In 2015, Zero Waste Scotland commissioned this research into the feasibility of a deposit return system in Scotland.


April 29th, 2016

Our campaign briefing note is available here.


April 29th, 2016

Our 2016 International Deposit Return Briefing is available here.


April 29th, 2016

Our 2016 Briefing for Small and Medium sized businesses is available here.


April 29th, 2016

Our 2016 Local Authority Briefing is available here.


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