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Scottish members who want to opt out of offering a deposit return scheme for drinks containers can now so via an application form on the Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) website.

This site can also be used to apply to be a voluntary return point if a retailer can demonstrate that plans are in place to operate a return scheme.

The forms for applications and exemption can be found at DepositReturn.Scot, along with supporting information on eligibility and how to complete an application.

Having received the applications, Zero Waste Scotland will assess them against the eligibility criteria, and pass them to Scottish Ministers to take a decision.

As set out in the regulations to establish the scheme, there are two routes to achieving an exemption.

  • Proximity Exemption – if you have an agreement with another return point within reasonable proximity to accept returns on your behalf.
  • Environmental Health Exemption – if you can demonstrate that there is no reasonable way for you to operate a return point on your premises without risking being in breach of relevant legal obligations such as food safety.

Any questions relating to the applications process that are not addressed in the guidance, please direct them towards

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