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.


“Jaw Brew is a family run brewery and prides itself in doing business the most eco-friendly way possible. We only use natural ingredients and our spent grain goes to feed pigs, waste hops are used as garden mulch and we even make a beer out of unsold bread as part of the ‘Circular Economy’ movement.

Having lived in Germany in an earlier life, we have experienced the benefits and simplicity of being able to re-use bottles of all types. When we set up our brewery in 2014, we collaborated on a research project with Strathclyde University to look into the possibility of our re-using the bottles we fill and are frustrated that the infrastructure to do so in Scotland does not yet exist.

We would be delighted to be part of a deposit return system and think this should be an industry-wide initiative. Any help we can give to make this happen would be willingly given.”.

Jaw Brew

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