Activists mark one-year countdown to deposit return scheme

The deposit return scheme is due to begin on July 1 2022.

Activists mark one-year countdown to deposit return scheme PA Media

Activists are due to bring more than 1000 cans and bottles to the Scottish Parliament to mark the one-year countdown to the launch of Scotland’s deposit return system.

The scheme is due to begin on July 1 2022, after its original start date in April this year was delayed.

Under the scheme, shoppers pay an additional charge when buying drinks in cans and bottles and these fees are refunded when they return the empties for recycling.

The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) and the Marine Conservation Society are due to bring 1085 cans and bottles to Holyrood on Thursday morning.

They say this represents the amount of litter the system will eliminate every day, per MSP, once it comes into effect next year.

John Mayhew, director of the APRS, said: “It’s wonderful to know it’s finally just a year to go until deposit return on cans and bottles across Scotland comes into effect.

“MSPs across Parliament should be very proud of the work they did in getting us to this stage, and we know the public are right behind it too.

“Going by our experiences visiting places that have deposit return, like Estonia and Norway, people across Scotland will very quickly find that littered drinks cans and bottles have become a thing of the past.”

He added: “I personally will be waiting for the shops to open on day one, July 1 2022, with a huge smile on my face, ready to buy a drink, drink it on the spot and immediately return it.

“It’s been a long time coming, and it’ll all be worth it!”

Calum Duncan, of the Marine Conservation Society, said: “Our volunteers pick up thousands of bottles and cans across Scotland’s beaches every year.

“Whether glass, plastic or metal, drinks litter negatively impacts wildlife, business and everyone’s enjoyment of our stunning coastline, so we’re delighted to be on the final countdown to the solution to this problem.

“Scotland is leading the way in the UK with a deposit return system which the public will start using this time next year.

“We expect to see a drastic drop in the amount of bottles and cans we’re finding on Scottish beaches from next year as more people return their drinks containers to be recycled and claim the 20p deposit back.”

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