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Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed ACR+ member Zero Waste Scotland will investigate design options and the associated costs and benefits of how a deposit return in scheme could operate in Scotland’s unique environment.

Zero Waste Scotland also publishes findings from its evidence gathering, undertaken on the Scottish Government’s behalf that identify which areas should be further investigated. The report summarises the evidence, analysis, and stakeholder feedback collected as part of this process.

The report is focused on key questions identified by the Scottish Government following its initial consultation on the merits of a deposit system, and is not a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of a deposit system. The report specifically considers:

  • Current recycling rates for items that might be targeted by a deposit system
  • The costs and benefits from a deposit system for local authority collection services
  • The potential anti-litter impacts of a deposit return system
  • How consumer behaviour might be expected to change in the presence of a deposit system, and the value of consumer’s contribution to a deposit return system
  • The costs and benefits for manufacturers and retailers from a deposit system
  • The potential impact of a deposit system on material quality and recyclate prices


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