Here at Have You Got The Bottle? we’re fighting for Scotland’s nature. We know about the negative impacts that litter has on wildlife; from insects and small mammals getting stuck inside bottles, to seabirds and creatures feeding plastic to their young. Evidence suggests that more than 140,000 bottles and cans are littered in Scotland every single day. That’s why we’re delighted that the Scottish Government have committed to introducing a deposit return system for most PET plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, and glass bottles before the end of this parliamentary session.
What will Scotland’s deposit return system be like?
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 […]
Environmental campaigners today welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of the scope of Scotland’s deposit return system. Ministers have confirmed that glass, cans and some plastic containers will be covered, but other plastics and materials such as tetrapaks and pouches are not to be included initially. The deposit will be set at 20p for all containers, and retailers of all sizes will be paid by the system to accept returns.
Catherine from the Marine Conservation Society tells us:
“As well as cleaning beaches, we also survey what we find. This means we know exactly what type of litter, and how each of each item is turning up. We’ve been doing this for twenty six years, so we have a quarter of a century’s worth of data that we can use to push for policy change. We want policies that will stop litter from getting to the beach in the first place.
The Marine Conservation Society has been a huge supporter of a deposit return system for Scotland. We were founding members of the Have You Got The Bottle? campaign because over the last twenty five years, our members have been finding bottles, both glass and plastic, as well as metal drinks cans. After doing a bit of research, and visiting countries that have these systems in place, we’ve seen how successful they are at increasing recycling rates, so that less is getting littered and ending up in our oceans and on our beaches.
Support from our volunteers is phenomenal, and it just shows the passion people have to get rid of these items and why we’re really excited that Scotland’s deposit return system will hopefully mean these volunteers see less glass, plastic and cans in the places that they really care about.”
Deposit return will be a popular intervention in Scotland
8 years ago, Whitmuir the Organic Place worked with the Scottish Government to run a deposit return pilot.”Our customers were really supportive of it. I can’t believe it’s taken this long to get to this point. The Government really needs to make this happen soon, because it’ll be a really popular intervention.”
Zsuzsa and Gerry from Leithers Don’t Litter tell us:
“The number of cans, bottles and single use drinks containers we find in the street is incredible! And it gives the lie to industry’s claim that it’s all being well recycled. Well, it’s clearly not. They say that kerbside recycling is working well. If it works so well, why do we keep finding so many bottles lying around? In a two minute litter pick in Leith, we found 30 cans and glass bottles. We need a system where people will actively want to return their empties, so it just becomes a routine part of life.
We really want to encourage the Government to have a world leading system that includes all single-use drinks containers.”
Scotland’s deposit return system is really important because of climate change
Richard Dixon from Friends of the Earth Scotland tells us, ‘wasting lots of plastic, glass and aluminium is really bad for climate change because it takes lots of energy to create these materials and then we simply throw them away and they become a problem.
A huge boost in recycling for glass, plastic and aluminium will mean a large saving in energy, and that’s a large saving in climate change emissions.
Scotland tries to be a leading nation on climate change, and a deposit return system will help us to do that when it comes to our use of materials.”
Deposit return will benefit my business when it starts on a national scale
Today we hear from Ferhan Ashiq of Shads Supermarket LLP, on why he’s backing deposit return for Scotland. “Climate Change is a massive concern for me and I want to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. I have a trial reverse vending machine in my shop, and at the moment I’m doing it to make the community more aware. Deposit return will benefit my business further down the line, when the national system is in place and the money for the deposits is coming back from the system operator”.
Glass, cans and plastic washes up on beaches in the Firth of Forth
“Having a deposit return system will completely transform how we operate on a daily basis at Burmieston Farm and Steading. It’s an opportunity for our business to make a little more cash, and to contribute to the circular economy.
We have large groups who come and stay, and they leave plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles. We have to sort it and take it to be recycled. It’d be great if we were making some money for doing that work.”
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