Green campaigners demand more deposit return schemes

Environmental campaigners want more countries to follow Scotland and introduce a deposit return system Credit: PA

Environmentalists in Scotland are joining forces with campaigners across the globe to urge more countries to adopt a deposit return scheme for drinks cans and bottles.

The day of action for a “clean planet” comes less than 24 hours after Scotland became the first part of the UK to announce details of such a scheme.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham told MSPs on Wednesday that a 20p deposit will be placed on PET plastic bottles – used for soft drinks and water – glass bottles and steel/aluminium drinks cans.

The initiative is expected to be up and running within the next two years, she added.

Across the world, an estimated 1.9 trillion drinks are set to be sold in cans, glass and plastic bottles, cartons, pouches and other containers in 2019 – up from 1.6 trillion in 2015.

Campaigners from the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS) and the Marine Conservation Society will join in the global protest with an event at Cramond Beach in Edinburgh.

Jenni Hume, campaign manager for the Have You Got The Bottle? campaign, which successfully lobbied Holyrood ministers on the issue, said: “We are proud to be part of this global call for deposit return systems, especially given this is the week when the details of Scotland’s deposit system have been set out by the Scottish Government.

“Tackling litter and ensuring the reuse of resources is a complex problem, but deposit return is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to address one part of that problem.

“We hope that other countries, starting with the other parts of the UK, follow the Scottish model, and that we then build on deposit return to find other ways to build a circular economy which minimises waste, carbon emissions and resource use.”