Reverse vending machines in Scottish Government buildings: EIR release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  • Can you confirm whether the Scottish Government has contracts in place to provide a reverse vending machine in any of its buildings, and how many are expected to be in operation.
  • How much has the Scottish Government already spent on reverse vending machines?
  • How much does it expect to pay in the financial year 2023/24?
  • How much does it expected to pay in the financial year 2024/25?
  • How much has the Scottish Government spent in total on preparing for the introduction of the deposit return scheme, due in March 2024?


  • The Scottish Government has assessed that in order to comply with the Deposit Return Scheme passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020, it will need to install 10 Reverse Vending Machines. Although the Scottish Government does not, at present, have any contracts in place for the provision of Reverse Vending Machines, it monitors, through it's Catering Contractor, the availability of these machines for compliance with the scheme start date.
  • The Scottish Government has held discussions with contractors and suppliers on the type and number of machines that will be required across its estate but has not, as yet, entered into contractual commitment for their provision.
  • The Scottish Government will not spend any money on reverse vending machines in 2023/24. It may help if I explain that due to the response by UKG in regards to the Internal Market Act, we have been left with no other option than to reset the timescale of the Deposit Return Scheme until October 2025 at the earliest, when the UK Government says it will aim to launch its own scheme.
  • Due to the uncertainties referred to above, it is not possible to say how much the Scottish Government will spend on Reverse Vending Machines during 2024/25.
  • The Scottish Government has held detailed discussions with our Catering Contractor and suppliers on the introduction of Reverse Vending Machines onto our estate. No costs have been attributed to these discussions.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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