Circularity Scotland has released more details for the forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), including a tie-up with Biffa.

 The DRS, which Circularity Scotland says should prevent “at least 90%” of recyclable drinks containers from becoming waste, will require retailers in the country to take back containers and charge a deposit on eligible containers. Programme administrator Circularity Scotland has enlisted Biffa waste management as its logistics service provider, to collect “billions of drinks bottles and cans” from return points across Scotland, and will also manage the bulking and counting centres that will process used packaging for recycling.

From August 2023 onwards, all drinks producers and retailers selling single-use drinks containers will be required to take part in the DRS. A refundable 20p deposit will apply to all single-use PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass drinks containers ranging in size from 50ml up to three-litre containers. 

Consumers will be able to return empty drinks containers to retailers and hospitality venues across Scotland. The scheme is expected to create around 500 jobs to support the collection and sorting of recyclable containers. 

David Harris, CEO of Circularity Scotland, said the scheme is a “key part” of Scotland’s move to a circular economy, adding: “Bringing on board Biffa as our logistics service provider is another landmark moment in this work and their unparalleled expertise in supporting large scale and complex recycling schemes will help us to achieve the aim of capturing and recycling at least 90% of drinks containers made from PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass.”