Moniaive trials recycling deposit return scheme

Locals in Moniaive are among the first in Scotland to try out a new recycling system for cans, glass and plastic.

By 2021, the Scottish Government hopes to charge a 20p deposit on top of each single-use container bought. People get the money back if they return the item for recycling.

The village shop, Watson's Grocers, is the first of its size to have a reverse vending machine installed. Customers put recyclables into the machine and 20p is returned to them.

A reverse vending machine in Australia sees people get money for returning bottles and cans. Credit: PA

Do other countries do anything similar?

Around 40 countries already have versions of the system, which typically charges an upfront deposit on plastic or glass bottles or aluminium cans. This is refunded when consumers return the drinks container for recycling.

The costs in different countries vary wildly, from around 6p in Australia, to 22p in Germany, where recycling rates are more than 90%.

The facts:

  • 3 billion plastic bottles used per year in the UK

  • More than 3 billion are not recycled

  • A typical household uses 480 plastic bottles per year

  • Food and drink containers account for 20% of rubbish on beaches

  • In Germany a 22p deposit is paid on plastic bottles and 97% are returned for recycling

  • Sweden charges a 17p deposit on plastic bottles and cans with 85% of those being returned

  • In Estonia a 9p deposit is charged for nearly all drinks containers and 90% are returned

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