TOMRA welcomes Scotland's landmark deposit return scheme


The Scottish Government’s announcement today that an ambitious and wide-ranging deposit return scheme (DRS) will be introduced has been hailed as “groundbreaking” by TOMRA.

reverse vending machines in useTOMRA Collection Solutions commended Scotland for taking the lead in the recycling revolution, as the first part of the UK to confirm implementation of such a scheme and provide details of the form it will take. The announcement follows an extensive three month consultation process in 2018 examining which system design would deliver the best results for Scotland, the results of which indicated widespread support from Scots.

Managing Director of TOMRA Collection Solutions UK & Ireland Truls Haug says: “Based on our global experience we fully support the deposit return scheme format announced today by the Scottish Government. Creating a scheme that makes it as easy to return as it is to buy will help see the return of over 90% of drinks containers for recycling within just two years of being introduced in Scotland."

“A DRS will ensure Scotland recycles and reuses beverage container material effectively, as well as motivating people to return their used bottles and cans, reducing the negative impact that beverage container waste has on the planet."

“The Scottish Government is already at the forefront in the UK when it comes to sustainability with its Circular Economy Strategy and a DRS is the perfect example of a working circular economy. We look forward to helping retailers get ready for the go-live date, and we congratulate Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government for its challenging work in coordinating the consultation that has led to these game-changing recommendations.”

The Scottish Government’s deposit return system will include PET bottles (such as most fizzy drinks and water bottles), steel and aluminium cans, and glass for all types of drinks in these containers ranging from 50ml to 3L. The deposit on containers has been set at 20p and the system will operate on a ‘return to retailer’ basis. Truls Haug continues: “This type of scheme – with as few restrictions as possible, which is convenient and easy to use – will achieve the best return rates in our experience.

“For that reason we welcome the inclusion of glass in a DRS for Scotland. I can confirm that TOMRA will have a small footprint machine for convenience stores that can accept PET, can and glass ready for the Scottish rollout. This will have an even smaller footprint than those being trialled in Scotland today. “A deposit of 20p is also good news as a higher deposit value makes a difference in motivating consumers to return containers.”

TOMRA, which has reverse vending machines in over 60 markets, collecting 40 billion used beverage containers each year, has already operated a number of deposit return trials with retailers across the UK and is ready to assist businesses as they prepare themselves for the introduction of the scheme. The company has applauded Scotland for leading the charge in deposit return in the UK. Truls Haug added: “We support the introduction of a similar scheme for the rest of the UK as quickly as is feasible to help turn off the tap to plastic pollution.”

For press enquiries please contact: tcs.uk@tomra.com