Costs of Deposit Return Scheme: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

On tonight's (Thursday, 27th April) BBC Scotland news you stated that the Scottish Government had spent "hundreds of millions" on the DRS scheme.

It would seem to me that this is either a misquote, a wild exaggeration or a worrying overspend of taxpayers money.

Could you please advise (a) which of the above is correct and (b) the actual spend to date.


On 27 April 2023 during a media engagement with Reporting Scotland, the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, stated “All the pieces are in place for Scotland’s deposit return scheme. We have hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, we have producers signed up, we’ve got support for small businesses”.

It may help if I explain that the investment referred to by Ms Slater was in relation to investment(s) and spending made by businesses to prepare for the launch of the scheme rather than Scottish Government expenditure.

Whilst it is not possible to provide an exact figure on investment(s) and spending made by individual businesses to prepare for the launch of the scheme a recent parliamentary question provides an estimated breakdown of the investments from businesses which can be found on the Scottish Parliament website here:

Written question and answer: S6W-17567 | Scottish Parliament Website

In addition, you may wish to note that the Scottish Government has published an Environmental Information Request which outlines the costs associated with the setting up of the Deposit Return Scheme by the Scottish Government. This can be found on the Scottish Government website here:

EIR release: Total amount spent so far on the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top