Press releases

24 March 2021

Circularity Scotland appointed as Scotland DRS administrator

Circularity Scotland Limited – of which the British Soft Drinks Association is a member – has been appointed to implement and operate Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The Scottish Government confirmed today (24 March) that it had approved the scheme administrator application of Circularity Scotland, a not-for-profit body which represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers.

Scotland's DRS will require consumers to pay a 20p deposit when they buy a glass bottle, can or PET plastic container. The money is then reimbursed when the empty containers are returned, contributing to a circular economy.

Circularity Scotland will work with companies throughout the supply chain – from producers through to hospitality, wholesalers and retailers – to deliver a system that is expected to collect more than 90% of drinks containers across Scotland.

Dr Marnie Millard OBE, BSDA President, said: "The British Soft Drinks Association welcomes the Scottish Government’s announcement to appoint Circularity Scotland Limited as a scheme administrator for its Deposit Return Scheme. We look forward to participating in a review of timescales that will help ensure delivery of a well-designed DRS system in Scotland that works for consumers and businesses."

Donald McCalman, interim director of Circularity Scotland, said: "The Deposit Return Scheme is a gamechanger in Scotland’s ambition to become a greener and cleaner country. It supports a circular economy and the Scottish Government’s ambitious plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045."

In 2017, the Scottish Government first announced its ambition to introduce a DRS in Scotland to increase recycling rates and reduce litter. DRS regulations passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020 paved the way for drinks producers and importers to nominate a scheme administrator to fulfil the DRS obligations on their behalf.

Earlier, this month, the Scottish Government commissioned an independent gateway review to assess the impact of the pandemic on the go-live date for the scheme, which is currently scheduled for July 2022.

Zero Waste Scotland research predicts that 34,000 fewer plastic bottles will be littered every day with the introduction of a DRS in Scotland. With over 17,000 return points set up nationwide, £62 million a year could be saved tackling the indirect impacts of litter.

The Circularity Scotland press release can be found via this link.

For more information, please visit the BSDA's dedicated DRS section.