Sustainability Through Recycling

The Scottish government’s decision to postpone the deposit return scheme (DRS) has sparked debate throughout the packaging supply chain.

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), and the Federation of Independent Retailers are among those that support the postponement.

The country’s circular economy minister, Lorna Slater, stated that the system will now go live in October 2025, at the earliest, in line with the rest of the UK.

The magnitude of this delay is regrettable, but the organizations remain dedicated to implementing a Deposit Return Scheme that will assist Scotland in meeting its Net Zero ambitions.


Circularity Scotland, the administrator of Scotland’s DRS has urged the UK and Scottish governments to come together to deliver the programme.


The DRS was designed to improve recycling rates for certain bottles and cans by providing a financial incentive. It would also reduce litter and help tackle climate change by reducing the amount of material going to landfill.

The scheme is intended to be mostly self-sustaining. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) will serve as the regulator, conducting inspections to ensure compliance.

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