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Deposit Return Scheme will increase trade and create jobs, finds Scottish Government analysis

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Deposit Return Scheme will increase trade and create jobs, finds Scottish Government analysis

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will increase trade, create jobs and secure new sources of high quality materials, according to new Scottish Government analysis.

With the Scottish Government outlining proposals for a DRS covering plastic drinking containers, cans and glass, based on a deposit set at 20p, ministers have now published new analysis of the social and economic benefits brought by the move.

It suggests a DRS would cut down on the £46m of public money spent each year on removing litter and flytipping, while the carbon savings are anticipated to be the equivalent to taking 85,500 cars off the road.

Ken McLean, operations director at Changeworks Recycling backed the move, saying separate collections are much more effective than mixed recycling for improving capture levels, while also maximising economic or environmental opportunities.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will not only be an effective way of increasing recycling rates and reducing litter, but also provide a major opportunity to secure a new source of high quality material, develop our recycling infrastructure and create jobs as part of our ambition to drive the circular economy.

“This is an opportunity for us all – industry, business and individuals - to transform our approach to production and use of raw materials, and consider the environmental impact of our actions as we continue on our journey towards becoming a net-zero society.”

An Implementation Advisory Group made up of representatives from industry, business and retail is currently devising a plan for the introduction of a DRS.

Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer, Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Putting a 20p deposit on bottles and cans places a value on the packaging and gives people an extra incentive to look after it. Because the glass, plastic and metals will be captured separately, the quality of the materials will be high, allowing them to be recycled over and over again.

“By turning bottles into more bottles, and cans into more cans, we can get the best economic return on our resources and reduce the damaging emissions that are contributing to the global climate emergency.

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