Statement on deposit return

In reply to a letter from some MSPs calling for a delay to deposit return APRS Director Dr Kat Jones, issued the following statement:

“There are a lot of misunderstandings flying around about the deposit return system at the moment and this letter unfortunately perpetuates some of them. The authors say that local authorities will lose money because some glass, aluminium and plastic will be recycled through deposit return, but it does not mention how much they will save from lower street cleansing and bin emptying costs. Overall, Scottish councils will actually save £600,000 per month.

“They also write that deposit return would reduce glass recycling rates. Currently 64% of glass in Scotland is recycled, not all of which is drinks containers, and almost half of all households in Scotland do not have access to kerbside glass recycling. The typical modern deposit systems achieve glass recycling rates of 97%, meaning we will see far less litter, waste and cost from August of this year. Glass is not only the most carbon-intensive of the materials, it is also the most dangerous when littered, injuring people and animals. This will therefore be transformative for communities blighted by litter.

“Most implausibly, the letter claims the 20p deposit is a cost to the public, when that deposit is of course refunded to them in full when they go back to the shops with their empty cans and bottles.

“The truth is deposit return is a producer responsibility scheme and, as such, puts the costs for our current failing single-use economy back onto the producers. It is not right that communities, local councils and the the environment should be carrying the can. Of course big drinks producers want us all to keep paying for their waste.”

We were quoted in this article on STV News

to top