Scotland’s deposit return scheme

21 December 2021

Article: 55/5109

The UK’s first deposit return scheme will go live across Scotland on 16 August 2023, with the aim of recycling billions of bottles and cans every year. People will pay a 20 pence deposit when they buy a drink that comes in a single-use container made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, steel and aluminium, or glass, and will get their money back when they return the empty container to a return point.

Key milestones for delivery of the scheme include: 

  • a public awareness campaign will be launched by August 2022, while counting and sorting centres will start to be built 
  • rolling out the return infrastructure by retailers, which will start from summer 2022 
  • a community-run return scheme operating in Orkney by November 2022 
  • the process to register producers will be undertaken by Circularity Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in January 2023 
  • end-to-end testing of containers through the system will occur by July 2023

Source: Scottish Government, 14 December 2021