The Scottish Parliament has set some tough climate change emissions reduction targets, but they keep being missed, year after year. It’s time to do better. However green-minded you are, it’s hard to make a big difference by yourself: what matters is what we all do together.

Every time plastic is reused for packaging it means less oil is being used for raw material, reducing the pressure to explore for and extract every last drop. More directly, it means less energy is used in manufacturing new packaging materials. The emissions savings from recycling rather than manufacturing from raw materials each time can be up to 60%, which could make a substantial difference. Recycling cans uses about 95% less energy than manufacturing new cans.

A deposit return system is obviously not enough on its own to turn around Scotland’s emissions levels. However, a modern deposit return scheme is an ‘easy win’ when it comes to emissions reductions. We already know how effective this approach has proved in other countries, and there’s no reason we couldn’t see the same benefits here in Scotland.

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Every kilo of glass recycled saves two thirds of a kilo of carbon emissions

Read the research from the European Container Glass Federation.


“Clear Buckhaven is a environmental and regeneration charity in Levenmouth. Waste from disposable bottles tarnishes this area and we would welcome opportunities for generating revenue in future from returnable deposits.”

Clear Buckhaven

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