Deposit return scheme for Scotland: SEA

This strategic environmental assessment (SEA) post adoption statement details the environmental considerations that have gone into the design of the deposit return scheme for Scotland.

6. The measures decided concerning monitoring

6.1.1 Section 19 of the 2005 Act requires the responsible authority to monitor significant environmental effects of the implementation of the Plan. The responsible authority will be the Scottish Government.

6.1.2 It is not necessary to monitor everything or monitor an effect indefinitely.  Instead, as noted in the SEA guidance[23], it is “practical to make a clear link between the significant effects predicted within an assessment and the indicators selected to monitor the likely environmental effects”.

6.1.3 The Environmental Report identified a number of significant positive effects for the DRS example scheme 3, which are relevant to the preferred option of the DRS:

  • The preferred option is anticipated to yield a national recycling rate for the target items in excess of 90%, which offers a strong opportunity to contribute toward Scottish waste and environmental objectives.
  • The preferred option assumes the volume of targeted items littered will fall in relation to the capture rate (i.e. a 90% reduction).  However, research indicates that littering is a complex behavior and in certain contexts, an area which is already littered may be prone to further littering (of non-targeted materials), such as on beaches and in dense urban areas.  
  • The preferred option could have cumulative significant positive effects on biodiversity, particularly in respect of those sites protected for their importance to wild birds and marine habitats which are particularly vulnerable to the effects of litter.

6.1.4 The preferred scheme is modelled to contribute a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 4,038ktCO2eq between 2021 and 2046 from the diversion of waste from landfill and incineration.

6.1.5 Monitoring of these aspects can help to answer questions such as:

  • Were the Environmental Report assessments of effects accurate?
  • Is the DRS contributing to the achievement of the Scottish Government objectives? 
  • Are mitigation measures performing as well as expected?
  • Are there any unforeseen adverse effects? Are these within acceptable limits, or is remedial action desirable?

6.1.6 For the four topics considered, monitoring will focus on the indicators and sources of information set out in Table 6.1.  

Table 6.1: Adopted Monitoring Measures

Topic Area


Possible Source(s) of Information

Material Assets

Annual (where information allows) trends in:

  • volume of DRS collected waste (PET, metals and glass), capture rate and recycling rate. 

Scottish Government 

DRS Scheme Administrator

SEPA waste data

Climatic Factors

Annual (where information allows) trends in:

  • emissions of greenhouse gases associated with diversion of DRS collected waste from landfill and incineration;
  • the carbon metric for target materials.

Scottish Government 


Scottish Environment Statistics (Scottish Government)

Landscape and Visual Impacts

Annual trends in:

  • Capture rate, assuming that an increase in capture rate will have an equal reduction in the number of littered containers.  

DRS Scheme Administrator 

SEPA Waste Data 

Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

Annual (where information allows) trends in:

  • condition of designated sites (terrestrial and marine) which have been affected by littering;
  • land take for DRS operations.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Scottish Natural Heritage

DRS Scheme Administrator

6.1.7 The Scottish Government will implement these measures as part of a monitoring framework for the DRS that will include reference to a roadmap of actions and progress indicators.



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