Scottish DRS








From 1st July 2022 retailers in Scotland will be required to charge a deposit of 20p for drinks in single use cans or plastic or glass bottles and to accept these containers back against the refund of the deposit and return them for recycling.

The NFRN will be working to inform members about the scheme as details become available, with regular updates and information being published from July 2021.

Currently the Scheme Administrator has not been appointed so many operational details, including the handling fee that retailers will received on each returned item, have yet to be determined.

At a glance

What we know

When does DRS start?

1st July 2022

Does it apply to England, Wales or Northern Ireland?

No but schemes are being discussed in these nations.

Do I have to participate?

Yes. There will be a small number of exemptions from handling returns.  Scottish Ministers have not yet announced the criteria or application process.

Do I have to install a Reverse Vending Machine?

No. The NFRN fought for manual, over the counter, take back to be an option for retailers.

Will there be new barcodes on the bottles and cans?

This has yet to be decided.

Will the costs of drinks increase at the wholesalers?

Yes. Wholesalers will now charge you the deposit on each drinks can and bottle your purchase. Retailers will pass this on to the customer when they buy the drink.

Do I need planning permission to install a reverse vending machine?

The Scottish government has tabled regulations that, if passed, will mean that from 30th October 2020, planning permission will not be needed when installing a DRS related reverse vending machine, provide the machine is less than 3.5m high and has a footprint of less than 80 square metres.

The regulations, which list all of the requirement, can be found here:

Can I be exempt from collecting returned bottles and cans?

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.

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.

Find out more here

Latest Updates:

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