We recognise the challenges of increasing recycling rates and changing consumer behaviour with relation to drinks containers. The materials used for drinks containers are readily recyclable meaning that given the right infrastructure and behaviours their materials could be used many times over thereby reducing their environmental footprint and driving the circular economy. An approach to increasing the amount of material collected, which has worked in many other countries (including Norway, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia and many more), is a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).In this type of system a consumer pays a deposit when they buy a drink and this gets refunded when they return the empty container. Successful schemes have shown recovery rates of over 95% of the containers sold.
The Scottish Government have announced some very ambitious plans to introduce such a scheme in 2021, with the UK Government currently consulting on introducing it in 2023. The NSWA is a key partner in helping design and implement this and we are keen to help deliver a scheme that is as efficient and effective as possible and drives the quality and quantity of recycled materials to help our members reach their target of ensuring thatthey have at least 70% recycled content in their containers by 2025.