ZERO Waste Scotland has confirmed that Scotland’s deposit refund scheme will help tackle the climate emergency by increasing the recycling rate of suitable drink containers to 90%.

This emphasis is made in connection with the approach of World Recycling Day, which is celebrated on March 18, 2023.

The deposit return scheme sees consumers pay a 20p deposit when buying takeaway drinks, which will then be repaid when the packaging is returned for recycling.

The return scheme will be carried out using single-use containers made of PET plastic, steel and aluminum or glass

This will play a significant role in increasing recycling, reducing threw out and reducing the negative costs and impacts of litter.

Currently, only half of the usable containers are recycled. Once the scheme is operational, the aim is to collect at least 90% of these in the second year of operation.

By increasing recycling and reducing waste, the Deposit Refund Scheme will reduce emissions by an average of just over 160,000 tonnes of CO2-eq each year.

This is equivalent to removing 85,000 cars from the road, more than enough to remove all cars from the city of Dundee.

The scheme will also increase the supply of glass for recycling into new bottles by an additional 52,800 tonnes, saving more than 50,000 tonnes carbon every year.

It will also reduce the amount of litter in Scotland by a third, saving £46 million spent directly on councils every year for garbage collection.

That will help too reduce wider environmental impacts such as damage living nature and the plastic that pollutes our seas.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland’s deposit refund scheme will be a game changer for waste recycling across the country.

“The scheme will not only increase the number of containers collected, but will also collect high-quality materials that can be recycled back into high-quality products.

“It will change the way we see these materials, ensuring that we use them for as long as possible, which is very important for our environment and our economy.”

Deposit refund schemes are already being used effectively in more than 50 countries and territories around the world.

Most European countries with deposit return schemes achieve return rates above 90%.

The scheme would appear to be a step towards changing Scotland’s climate ambitions, as well as giving a visible commitment to protecting the country’s natural environment.

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will help to tackle climate change

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