Scotland’s DRS will increase the national recycling rate, ZWS says

ZWS bottles

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) says that Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will help tackle climate change by increasing the recycling rate of eligible drinks containers to “90%”.

The DRS will see consumers pay a 20p deposit when they buy takeaway drinks in plastic or glass bottles or metal cans. Ahead of Global Recycling Day (18 March), ZWS says the scheme will play a “significant role” in boosting recycling, lowering emissions and reducing the negative costs and impacts of littering.

ZWS says that currently only half of eligible containers are recycled and once the scheme is in place, the aim is to collect at least 90% of these in the second year of operation. The non-profit organisation says that the scheme will lower emissions by an average of just over 160,000 tonnes of CO2eq each year.

The upcoming Scottish DRS has received criticism with SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes stating that it could cause “economic carnage” and promising to halt its implementation. All three SNP leadership contenders, Kate Forbes, Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan, have now said they will either pause or change the DRS.

In an interview with the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack also said the DRS should be “paused” following business leaders raising concerns over the costs involved in setting up the scheme. He also urged the Scottish government to reconsider its DRS policy and instead wait for a unified approach with the rest of the UK.

Scotland’s DRS will be a game-changer for recycling across the country.

ZWS continues that the scheme will also increase the supply of glass for recycling into new bottles by an additional 52,800 tonnes saving over 50,000 tonnes of carbon every year – approximately a third of the scheme’s estimated total carbon savings. It will also reduce the volume of litter in Scotland “by a third”, according to ZWS.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, commented: “Scotland’s DRS will be a game-changer for recycling across the country. Not only will the scheme increase the number of containers collected but it will also collect high-quality materials that can be recycled back into high-quality products.

“It will change the way we see these materials, attaching a value to them and ensuring we keep them in use for as long as possible, which is essential for our environment and our economy.”

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