Sturgeon commits to Scottish deposit-return scheme (UPDATED)

The Scottish Government will introduce a deposit-return scheme for plastic bottles across Scotland in the next year, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon published her programme for government for 2016/17.

The document says that the scheme would represent a significant step up in ambition to increase recycling and reduce litter, with the hopes that by attaching value to plastic products, consumers will treat them more responsibly.

DRSs work by charging a small extra charge on top of a product’s fee, much like the five-pence carrier bag charge, but enable shoppers to recoup this charge when the product is returned to a retailer directly for recycling. Shoppers would be able to use reverse vending machines on the sites of retailers which take products, read bar codes, crush them ready for collection by reprocessors and automatically return the deposit to the user through a credit note.