Reverse vending scheme could be extended in Scotland

SCOTLAND’S ‘REVERSE VENDING’ scheme could be extended across the country after the success of the initial trial, which began earlier this year.


The Deposit Return Scheme rewards shoppers for returning drinks containers back to the shop of purchase for recycling.


Similar schemes are already very popular in European countries such as Sweden, where recycling rates for cans and plastic bottles are currently at 85%.


In Scotland eight ‘Recycle and Reward’ pilots began at the start of 2013, managed by Zero Waste Scotland.


Stores such as Ikea offered shoppers a 10p voucher to use in store for every drinks container they returned back to them. Other stores offered similar incentives to encourage consumers to recycle their waste bottles and cans.


It is hoped that introducing a wider scheme could help divert up to 22,000 tonnes of plastic drinks bottles from landfill every year in Scotland, which could result in generating an estimated £6 million for the economy.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland’s litter problem could be turned into a resource.


At least half of littered items are suitable for recycling, such as plastic bottles and aluminium cans. This is around £1.2 million worth of material every year.

We want to encourage more Scots to recycle and, in turn, help deal with our litter problem, so it is right that we reflect on how this model could work in Scotland.”


Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We very much welcome the news that the government wants to look at the feasibility of extending the deposit return scheme we’re running.


“Recycling is about keeping and re-using valuable materials and returning drinks containers is a simple step people could take to help make Scotland a zero waste society. It could also play a part in making our country litter-free.”