New figures from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) show that around half (47%) of Scottish independent retailers do not know how they will approach the deposit return scheme (DRS).

Scotland’s DRS, which is set to go live on August 16, will introduce a 20p deposit on PET plastic, glass and metal single use containers between 5cl and 3-litres. Consumers can get the deposit back when they return the containers to retailers, either via a dedicated Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) or through a manual returns process.

Figures from the latest ACS Voice of Local Shops survey also show that 13% of Scottish independent retailers do not know what a deposit return scheme is, with just months remaining until the scheme comes into force.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Our research has shown that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the deposit return scheme in Scotland, both in terms of understanding of what the scheme is and how retailers will participate.

“I encourage all retailers in Scotland to utilise our guide to help their decision making and implementation process in the coming months. We know from previous changes in legislation that there can be a tendency to leave things to the last minute – it’s absolutely crucial that everyone starts preparing as soon as possible to ensure that they’re ready for August.”

Findings from the survey suggest that 12% of retailers intend to offer an RVM in store, 9% intend to process the returns manually and 13% of retailers are planning to accept returns but have not yet made a decision how they intend to do this. Meanwhile, 6% have already decided to seek an exemption from offering a return point at their store. 

The ACS Deposit Return Scheme guide outlines the areas that retailers need to consider when looking at whether to install an RVM in their store, accept manual returns of containers, or apply for an exemption from the scheme altogether. To read it, click here.