Deposit Return: update on new regulations

Deposit Return: update on new regulations

Image showing a reverse vending machine being used, close up.

The Scottish Government has released the new regulations for the upcoming deposit return system, which will now go live on the 1st March 2024. Here are some of the key changes included in the new regulations:

Drinks containers under 100ml, such as miniatures, will be exempt from the scheme. This impacts only 0.2% of drinks currently on the market.

Product lines which sell under 5000 units per year will also be exempt. This impacts around 0.5% of the products on the market.

Return points will be able to refuse returns of certain materials when bringing them into a premises would pose a serious risk to food safety or health and safety.

Hospitality venues who sell more than 90% of their drinks for consumption on site will be automatically exempt from acting as return points.

Large retailers will be obliged to offer an online take back service to customers over 66 years of age and to those who self-identify as having a disability. Online take back services can also be offered by smaller retailers, though they are not obliged to do so.

The system now aims to collect 90% of bottles and cans for recycling by 2025. Most of the changes outlined above, such as exempting very small product lines, will have a negligible environmental impact but make deposit return far easier for the smallest of producers. APRS is still committed to campaigning for a successful deposit return scheme which benefits both communities and the environment.

Reverse Vending Machine being used


The scheme, originally due to begin in early 2021 has now been delayed three times until the beginning of March 2024.

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