Login/Register ZWS

Scots back recycling scheme that gives them a role in fighting climate emergency

Four in five Scots back a 20p recycling scheme that will give them a role in the fight against the climate emergency.

1 Sep 19

A YouGov survey commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland shows that nearly four in five (77%) of people in Scotland support the introduction of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme – and helping the environment is among their top motivations (72%).

The recycling scheme will see a 20p deposit placed on single-use drinks containers. People will get their cash back when they take the empty back to be recycled and that financial incentive is expected to see 90% of bottles and cans captured for recycling.

That boost to recycling will reduce Scotland’s CO2e emissions by an estimated 160,000 tonnes every year. That means that people will be playing a part in Scotland’s response to the climate emergency with every bottle or can they return.

The poll also reveals what will motivate people when using the scheme. The figures suggest that helping the environment will be at the forefront of people’s minds.

72% of people said that helping the environment would be a motivating factor for returning their empty drinks containers, while 70% said reducing litter in Scotland.

People will be able to return their empty bottles and cans to anywhere that sells drinks to take away – including newsagents, supermarkets and many cafes and takeaways. Having a wide network of return points will make sure the scheme is accessible and will make returning your empty bottle or can as simple as it was to buy the drink in the first place.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will make it easy for people to do something good for the environment.

“People in Scotland are more environmentally aware than ever before but it can be hard to know how to respond to something as monumental as the climate emergency at an individual level. This scheme will give them an action they can do week in and week out to help cut Scotland’s carbon footprint.

“By taking back your empty bottle or can, you won’t just get your 20p back. You’ll also be reducing the amount of raw materials that are used to make bottles and cans.

“That means you’ll be playing a part in Scotland’s response to the climate emergency every single time you take your bottle or can back to be recycled.”

Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said:

“I am pleased, but not surprised, to see the strength of support for Scotland’s Deposit Return scheme, with its multiple environmental benefits a key factor.

“We all – governments, businesses, communities and individuals – have a role to play in ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change. As well as giving everyone renewed incentive to reduce litter and tackling our throwaway culture, our ambitious Deposit Return Scheme will give the people of Scotland a simple yet effective way to help reduce carbon emissions, by reducing the volume of raw materials being used and instead supporting a thriving, circular economy.”     

*About Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme

The following materials are covered by the scheme:

  • PET plastic (used for most fizzy drinks and water bottles)
  • Steel and aluminium
  • Glass

All types of drinks in containers made of these materials between 50 ml and 3 litres in size are included.

Businesses that sell drinks to be opened and consumed on-site, such as pubs and restaurants, will not have to charge the deposit to the public and will only be required to return the containers they sell on their own premises.

The scheme is expected to reduce emissions by the equivalent of 4 million tonnes over 25 years, or an average of 160,000 tonnes of CO2e every year (news release).

Zero Waste Scotland has estimated that the scheme could reduce littering of plastic bottles by as much as 31,000 items per day across the country (news release).

For more information on Scotland’s deposit return scheme, including FAQs, visit: www.depositreturn.scot

 

Notes For Editors

Total sample size was 1,019 adults living in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 18th July 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

The full questions were:

“The Scottish Government has indicated that it will introduce a deposit return scheme for drinking containers, including metal cans, plastic and glass bottles, within the next two years. Consumers will pay a deposit (currently 20p) when buying a drink, and get the deposit back when they return the empty container for recycling (e.g. 20p per individual bottle, can, etc.). To what extent, if at all, would you say you support or oppose the introduction of the scheme?”

Responses were: Strongly support (46%); Tend to support (31%); Neither support nor oppose (9%); Tend to oppose (5%); Strongly oppose (7%); Don't know   (2%).

"As a reminder, the Scottish Government has indicated that it will introduce a deposit return scheme for drinking containers, including metal cans, plastic and glass bottles, within the next two years. Consumers will pay a deposit (currently 20p) when buying a drink, and get the deposit back when they return the empty container for recycling (e.g. 20p per individual bottle, can, etc.).

Which, if any, of the following would motivate you to return your empty drinks containers once the deposit return scheme is in effect?”

Results were: Getting the deposit back (61%); To increase recycling rates in Scotland (64%); Reducing litter in Scotland (70%); To help the environment (72%); Other (4%); Don't know     (2%); Not applicable - nothing would motivate me to return my empty drinks containers once the deposit return scheme is in effect (6%).

Close Search

Search form