Cost of setting up bottle return scheme: EIR release

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

Information requested

How much it has cost the Scottish Government (taxpayers) so far to set up this scheme with ZWS and Circulatory Scotland who will be running the scheme for them?


As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Response to your request

The answer to your question is it has cost £182,722 to date to set up the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). This includes costs associated with: consultation, publication of 2020 and 2022 Regulations and associated documents, evaluation, independent reviews and assurance.

Funding for Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) in their role implementing DRS is agreed between SEPA and ZWS and the Scottish Government as part of the annual budget process. No funding has been allocated to Circularity Scotland to date.

Once DRS has gone live, costs of the SEPA registration scheme will be covered by the annual registration fee paid by producers with a turnover of greater than £85,000 per year.

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

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