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08 May 2019: The Scottish Government has announced that it is planning to be the first nation in the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme.

All types of drinks contained in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles (the plastic used for fizzy drinks and water bottles), steel and aluminium cans and glass bottles, ranging from 50ml (i.e. miniatures) to 3l (i.e. beer kegs), will be included in the scheme.

Businesses that sell drinks to be opened and consumed on-site, such as pubs and restaurants, will be exempt from charging the deposit to the public and will only be required to return the containers they sell on their own premises.

The Scottish Government hopes to introduce legislation later this year once it is passed by the Scottish Parliament. There will be an implementation period of at least 12 months before the scheme is fully enforceable.

The Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, made the following statement:

“There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations. I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering aluminium and steel cans, PET plastic packaging and glass with a deposit refund set at 20p.”

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