In the many other countries where a deposit return system is in place, 90%+ of drinks containers are returned for recycling.

The deposit return system separates glass, aluminium and plastic bottles and cans at the point they are returned. This means the materials don’t get contaminated – eg. plastic isn’t mixed with broken glass – so the system results in a large amount of high quality materials, which in turn are very valuable.

A Scottish deposit return system would mean billions of these high quality containers being sent to Scottish recycling companies. They would need to create more jobs to deal with the increase in containers and would have more recycled materials to sell. A strong and stable recycling sector could also attract more investment, as investors would feel confident that Scotland’s businesses would continue to grow.

Research has shown that if there was a UK-wide system, the overall amount of jobs created would be between 3,000 and 4,300.

Drinks containers are large and intrusive. They are easy to spot amongst the heather, along roadsides and floating in lochs. So they make Scotland look ugly and unappealing.

Scotland’s tourism industry contributes £4bn to the economy. Let’s make sure that investment isn’t damaged by litter and that visitors to Scotland will find our towns, countryside and beaches free from bottles and cans.

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The primary reason is the greater volume of high-quality material being returned for recycling, with collection, sorting and transport also providing a major employment boost, according to research by Clarissa Morawski and Dr Jeff Morris.

Total employment generated by recycling beverage containers (excluding employment in recycling operations, which is reported separately) is estimated at almost 745 FTEs. Economic Impacts of the BC Recycling Regulation. Prepared for the Ministry of Environment, Environmental Quality Branch.

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


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