Scotland Deposit and Return Scheme

The full implementation date for Scotland’s Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) has been moved back to date of 16 August 2023. Previously it had been 1 July 2022.

The main policy driver for Scotland’s Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) is to promote and secure an increase in recycling of materials, forming part of the Scottish Government’s response to the global climate emergency, by ensuring the targeted materials are collected in larger quantities and separately to other materials. The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Amendment Regulations 2022 (SI 2022 No. 76) amend the Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020, specifically, to alter the full implementation date for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme to 16 August 2023.

Other amendments designed to support the delivery and operation of a successful DRS include:

  • Allowing online retailers, and others selling through a distance sale, to refuse to accept a return of a disproportionately large number of containers in a single transaction;
  • Clarifying that, for products that are filled and sealed in a retail or hospitality setting, for example the kind of can known as a ‘crowler’, the person filling and sealing them will be the producer and bear responsibility for their collection;
  • Providing that a producer that is a producer only by virtue of filling and sealing crowlers is exempt from the annual fee to register with SEPA, and changing this fee from £360 to £365 for eligible producers to cover the cost of regulating these additional producers;
  • Creating a duty for wholesalers or others selling articles not intended for sale in Scotland to disclose at point of sale that the items are not intended for sale in Scotland and cannot be returned for a deposit, which will help to prevent fraud;
  • Adjusting SEPA’s enforcement powers in line with SEPA’s existing powers in the Environment Act 1995, which will help ensure effective enforcement of DRS.

 

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