The idea of a circular economy is that resources should be used as efficiently as possible. Products should be redesigned to last and to be repaired or reused if possible, while landfill and incineration should be reduced or eliminated.

Efficient recycling is an important part of this thinking, too, especially for products and packaging that can’t just be used again. All too often we still use something once and then discard it as worthless. It’s time to stop thinking of this kind of packaging as waste, and to start seeing it as a valuable asset, an important source of raw materials for manufacturing.

The thousands of drinks containers that are dropped as litter or go to landfill are an excellent example. They could be used to make new containers much more efficiently, or to make other plastic products, but to get the most out of our empties requires very reliable sorting. Even kerbside recycling isn’t great at doing that.

A deposit return system is the most efficient way to recover cans and bottles. As already happens elsewhere, it would make high-quality and valuable raw materials available to manufacturing businesses in Scotland, helping to create good quality new jobs and building an economy for the long term.

Find out more


This video from Lidl (German, with English subtitles) explains very clearly how the system works for them and their customers.


Comment

“CalMac serves some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and as an organisation we are concerned about marine litter, given the impact it continues to have on our beaches and marine wildlife. Our passengers and the communities we serve care about protecting the local environment, and we support deposit return as one way to reduce littering and increase recycling rates.

We anticipate that deposits will reduce contamination of the items we collect for recycling on board and help us to achieve our recycling targets. When a deposit return system comes in, we are confident that facilities to recycle these empties either in or near our terminals will be well used, given the small financial incentive of the deposit. We would certainly wish to be involved in any early discussions to ensure that the system Ministers introduce works well for transport operators and our passengers alike.”

CalMac Ferries