Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed Scottish Government plans to introduce a 20p deposit on a wide variety of drinks containers in a bid to help combat climate change by cutting waste.
The proposed deposit return scheme will apply to PET plastic and glass bottles as well as aluminium and steel cans. PET is the most common form of plastic packaging.
At the moment, about half of these containers are recycled. The deposit return scheme will aim to increase this to 90%, which would help to cut CO2 emissions by about 160,000 tons a year – the equivalent of taking 85,550 cars off the road.
The 20p deposit will be refunded when the drinks container is returned to one of more than 17,000 points across the country, including all shops which sell drinks and many reverse vending machines.
Mr Matheson said: “I’m proud that Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to have a deposit return scheme, which will be based on similar schemes that have been successfully introduced elsewhere around the globe.
“The climate emergency that is facing our planet demands practical action on many levels and the deposit return scheme will encourage everyone to play their part in significantly raising our recycling levels.
“While there is a growing awareness about the major problems caused by plastic pollution, especially in our waterways and seas, millions of plastic bottles are still irresponsibly discarded across the UK every day as a result of a single-use, throw-away culture.
“The deposit return scheme will build on the success of the carrier bag charge, which has helped to encourage recycling and drastically cut litter.”
Jill Farrell, Zero Waste Scotland’s chief operating officer, said: “This will be a game-changer for recycling in Scotland.
“With a huge network of places to return your bottles and cans, it will be just as easy to return a drinks container as it is to buy a drink in the first place.”
Draft legislation is due to be published later this year.