Publication - Impact assessment

Deposit return scheme for Scotland: islands communities impact assessment

Published: 16 Mar 2020
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change

Potential impacts of the Scottish deposit return scheme on islands communities and possible mitigation for any impacts.

17 page PDF

773.2 kB

17 page PDF

773.2 kB

Deposit return scheme for Scotland: islands communities impact assessment
Annex 1: Recommendations From Island Workshop Events

17 page PDF

773.2 kB

Annex 1: Recommendations From Island Workshop Events


  • Make use of local communications campaigns from local environmental groups;
  • Encourage communal voluntary return points in areas with fewer shops;
  • The scheme administrator should consult local communities during the implementation phase to harness local knowledge;
  • Well-secured contingency storage areas should be set up on the islands in case of travel disruption;
  • Minimise the higher carbon impact of collections from the islands by using electric vehicles or backhaul;
  • Systems must be flexible to allow for the variance in volume of collected containers across the year;
  • Local communications campaigns will be needed to raise awareness of the scheme amongst tourists and visitors.


  • Seek feedback from Fyne Futures regarding returns on Bute;
  • Involve Fyne Futures in collection and material transportation services;
  • Mandate that the scheme administrator must procure local partners;
  • Backhauling should be considered from companies like Co-op who bring products onto the island. An agreement could be made for larger retailers to transport containers for the scheme administrator;
  • A centralised secure storage area for collected containers would reduce insurance and health & safety risks for small retailers;
  • An incentive scheme to help small retailers acquire RVMs would help independent retailers with logistics and upfront costs;
  • Working capital grants to help producers and retailers;
  • Quicker payment terms are needed: around 10 working days (as seen in international schemes) will be too long for some small retailers.


  • New storage requirements will be necessary in local shops. The retailer handling fee should be negotiated to reflect this;
  • An incentive to return existing littered containers which do not carry a deposit would encourage litter-picking in the early stages of the scheme;
  • Communal return points or a partnered approach would work better on islands where there is limited space available.


  • Existing social enterprise networks such as clothes banks collections may be useful to the scheme administrator when arranging collections;
  • Continual messaging will be needed to communicate DRS and its benefits;
  • Assessment should be done on an ongoing basis throughout the scheme to ensure it is being rolled out properly on the islands;
  • A maximum time or distance between return points and a counting centre to ensure timely payment of deposits and fees to retailers;
  • Islands funding should be provided to support the unique challenges;
  • An island rate should be offered on the handling fee, or assistance for small retailers to purchase RVMs.


  • Individual islands mostly have independent hauliers. They need to be considered, and haulier charges will need to be covered by any scheme administrator.


  • Financial help to cover upfront costs will be needed in the early stages of scheme;
  • Communal RVMs should be encouraged in public areas to take the pressure off small retailers;
  • Collection schedules will need to be rationalised to reduce emissions and unnecessary traffic;
  • Contingency plans will need to be in place in preparation for transport disruption;

RVM data needs to be stored, not just live, as internet connection could be variable on remote islands (decision for retailer when acquiring RVM).


  • More frequent collections will be needed in peak season;
  • Backhauling should be used to reduce the number of lorries on the road;
  • Offer a higher handling fee for the islands (compared to 5p fuel allowance).