Scotland

Scottish public asked for views on bottle return scheme

Recycling a bottle Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Similar bottle return schemes have been successful across Europe

People in Scotland are being encouraged by Zero Waste Scotland to have their say on plans for a deposit-return scheme for drinks containers.

A series of events will be held this summer aimed at gathering public opinion on the proposals.

A study into how such a scheme would work has been commissioned by the Scottish government.

The initiative would see customers pay a small surcharge which is refunded when the bottle is returned to a shop.

Similar schemes across Europe have helped some countries achieve recycling rates of 95% compared to 50% in Scotland.

People are being asked to share thoughts on the scheme at events this summer such as Bute Fest, The European Open Water Swimming Championships and the Edinburgh Mela.

Similar public engagement events will be held at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry and Glasgow's St Enoch Centre.

Zero Waste Scotland staff will be able to talk through four hypothetical examples of how Scotland's deposit return scheme could work.

'Huge potential'

The public engagement will also be used to gather views on what products should be involved and where items should be returned.

Between 1.5 billion and 2.5 billion containers could be recycled as part of the scheme depending on the design chosen, according to options in the public consultation.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "A deposit return scheme will provide a new secure source of high quality material which will create opportunities to develop our recycling infrastructure in Scotland and create jobs.

"This will also improve the availability of recycled material for use in the production of bottles and cans in future.

"I would encourage everyone with an interest to provide their views on how this scheme can meet Scotland's needs and help us tackle our throwaway culture."

Iain Gulland, the chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, hopes as many people as possible will get involved in the consultation.

He added: "People will make this scheme a success - for our environment and our economy.

"The Scottish government and Zero Waste Scotland have committed to designing the best possible deposit return scheme for Scotland."

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