Publication - Consultation paper

Deposit return scheme for Scotland: summary

Summary of the Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland consultation paper.

Deposit return scheme for Scotland: summary
How the scheme will be paid for? (Questions 17 to 21)

How the scheme will be paid for? (Questions 17 to 21)

The deposit return scheme will need to be funded. Potential income streams in other systems are:

  • sale of collected material, where the scheme owns it
  • producer fees
  • unredeemed deposits

In most schemes part of the income of the scheme administrator comes from unredeemed deposits. This is where someone does not return the container to receive their deposit back. Since the scheme is intended to capture as much material as possible – the retention of deposits as an income stream (and the loss of the material that represents) is not a desirable outcome.

The material collected through the system will also have a value. In most models in Europe, the scheme administrator retains ownership of the material and is able to derive income from selling it.

Deposit return is often treated in Europe as a form of producer responsibility, which is a means of transferring costs to those who benefit most from placing products onto the market. In most European systems, this transfer of costs is achieved through producers being required to pay a fee to the scheme administrator to be able to place drinks on the market.

The scheme administrator will therefore have a combination of three finance streams available. The usual model adopted in Europe is to calculate the income derived from unredeemed deposits and material sales, and adjust producer fees to make up any shortfall to its budget..