You might think that Scotland presents an interesting challenge to anyone designing a deposit return system. Clusters of urban development surrounded by wild landscapes, a network of remote islands and rugged coastline and, of course, our legendary weather.

The good news is deposit return systems are already working well in other countries that present similar challenges – Canada, Australia, America, Estonia, Germany and Norway.

And more and more governments are beginning to understand the benefits of deposit return systems. The most recent example is the state of New South Wales in Australia.

New South Wales, like Scotland, relies heavily on tourism and promotes its beauty and coastline to the rest of the world. It has vibrant urban centres, as well as remote, isolated places, with tough terrain and unpredictable, sub-tropical weather.

Although New South Wales is 10 times the size of Scotland, its Premier, Mike Baird, has recently agreed to introduce a system there. He understands that the benefits a system will bring are vital to the economic, social and environmental future of New South Wales.

And remoteness isn’t an issue, as the same trucks and boats that carry drinks containers out to remote places can fill up with empty bottles and cans on their way back.

Find out more

This social experiment makes the case for a small deposit very vividly.

Returpack, the Swedish company which manages their deposit return system, is owned by the drinks industry, and made this short film about the process.

epEesti Pandipakend, the organisation which manages deposit return in Estonia, has a very clear website on the system’s operation. This page, for example, sets out how their system works for packaging companies.
John Mayhew, APRS director, visited Norway with the Have You Got The Bottle? team to find out about how the system works in Norway. Read his blog to find out more.
Palpa, the organisation who run the Deposit Return System in Finland, handle up to 1.7 billion returned bottles each year. This PowerPoint gives a great explanation of how the system works.



“Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum are supportive of Deposit Return Systems for beverage and other containers. We recognise that placing a monetary value on such materials gives them a tangible value that the public will recognise over and above their intrinsic value as a resource.

Aberdeenshire Litter Initiative- ALi, believed to be the largest Adopt – a – Street project in the UK, has been going for 10 years with 620 members many of whom report that beverage containers form a large part of the litter that they collect.   DRS will undoubtedly lead to a reduction in such littering behaviour and act as another ‘environmental’ nudge to the general public.”

Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum

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