Deposit Return Scheme

Scotland is due to start a deposit return scheme in the next few years for all glass bottles and soft drinks cans.

The idea is that you will pay an extra 20p for a soft drink at your local newsagent, corner shop, take away, supermarket etc. When you’ve finished you take it back to the place of purchase and get your 20p back. The idea is to reduce litter and increase recycling rates especially as there will be less cross contamination in the materials uplifted for recycling.

Your household recycling bin is likely to have different types of plastic bottles and cans/tins that have to be sorted before handing on for recycling.

But, there is always a but, small shops don’t need to take these items back if the negotiate a deal with a larger shop to take things back. That may be with a local supermarket, who may not offer cash back but a money off voucher instead.

Meantime the volume of materials in your kerbside recycling boxes will reduce and may result in that scheme becoming uneconomic or reduced to paper/card only.

I do not welcome this scheme. I use the kerbside scheme. I don’t want to hold onto cans etc and take them back to a shop. I think there should be exemptions to the price increase for those that use the kerbside schemes.

I also think people and local authorities need to get smarter about the current schemes. For example, here in East Lothian you can’t put Tetra-Pak material into your green box (though many people do, contaminating that waste stream), you have to take them to a recycling centre, great if you’ve got space to store them before making a trip by car, and if you’ve not got a car they go in general waste. Other Council do allow Tetra-Pak in their kerbside schemes. But that lack of consistency in approach is another problem.