Deposit return scheme

We are introducing a deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers, to help improve quality and quantity of recycling, reduce litter and achieve our climate change targets.

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020, passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020, create the legal framework for the scheme. As the Regulations state, the scheme will go live in July 2022.

The Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 has also been passed, giving additional powers to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to enforce the scheme.

Alongside the Regulations, we have also published:

Details of the deposit return scheme were annnounced in May 2019, following a public consultation in 2018. Read an analysis of responses to the consultation.

The policy has been designed in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland. Further information about the scheme is available on their website.

Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group­­

We have set up the Deposit Return Scheme Implementation Advisory Group to provide industry experience and advice on practical issues relating to the operation of the scheme.

Scheme administrator

Drinks producers have the option of establishing a scheme administrator to discharge their responsibilities under the scheme.  Before a scheme administrator can operate it must apply to Scottish Ministers and be approved. Read more information on how to apply, including the application form.