Scottish DRS

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020, passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2020, create the legal framework for introducing a deposit return scheme (DRS) for single-use drinks containers. As the Regulations state, the scheme will go live in July 2022. The system will require consumers to pay a 20p deposit when they buy a glass bottle, can or PET plastic container from 50ml to 3 litres in size. The money is then reimbursed when the empty containers are returned, contributing to a circular economy.

The Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 has also been passed, giving additional powers to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to enforce the scheme.

Further information about the scheme is available on the Zero Waste Scotland website.

Preparing for Scotland’s DRS

Although the scheme will go live for consumers on 1 July 2022, elements of the regulations will come into force before then.

Producers will be legally responsible for the collection and management of drinks containers covered by the scheme. For products branded in the UK, the producer is defined as the owner of the brand. For products which are imported into the UK, the producer is defined as the importer. 

Producers can either discharge their obligations directly or by nominating a scheme administrator to fulfil these obligations on their behalf. Circularity Scotland Limited – of which the British Soft Drinks Association is a member – was appointed as a scheme administrator for Scotland’s DRS on 24 March 2021. Circularity Scotland is a not-for-profit body which represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers..

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.

The Circularity Scotland homepage can be found via this link.

All drinks producers must be registered with the SEPA, either directly or through a scheme administrator. Producers will also pay an annual fee to the scheme administrator to cover the costs of SEPA registration. Zero Waste Scotland provides more information, including a producer briefing and a 'small producer' briefing.

Contact:

For information on the BSDA’s view on DRS, please visit: www.britishsoftdrinks.com/Deposit-Return-Scheme

If you are a BSDA member or prospective drinks producer with a specific DRS enquiry, please email: DRS@britishsoftdrinks.com

You can find our response to the Scottish Government’s plans here.