BBPA welcomes Deposit Return Scheme change

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Tackling climate change: BBPA welcomes changes to Scotland's DRS (Getty/ Yagi Studio)
Tackling climate change: BBPA welcomes changes to Scotland's DRS (Getty/ Yagi Studio)

Related tags Scotland British beer & pub association Legislation

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed Circularity Scotland’s decision to reduce producer fees for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said the trade body welcomed the decision to reduce Day One cash requirements and the year one producer fees ahead of the implementation of the DRS in Scotland next August.

However, she added with only eight months remaining until the proposed go live date, there were several key areas that need urgent resolutions from the Scottish Government to ensure a smooth implementation of the scheme.

These were notably around the charging of VAT on deposits and the issue of online takeback.

Scotland will implement a DRS from August 2023​ to reduce waste and tackle climate change.

A DRS​ encourages consumers to recycle drinks containers, such as bottles and cans. The Scheme in Scotland aims to ensure at least 90% of drinks containers are captured and prevented from becoming waste.

Combatting climate change

This is part of the country’s mission to tackle climate change and create a circular economy (whereby a product is continually recovered and endlessly recycled).

From 16 August 2023, all drinks producers and any business selling single-use drinks containers in Scotland will be required to take part in the DRS. It is not optional, and all business sizes are affected.

Businesses will need to charge a refundable deposit of 20p on all drink containers sold In Scotland, to be refunded to consumers upon return.

This will apply to all single-use PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass drinks containers ranging in size from 50ml up to 3l containers.

How will it work?

For businesses selling drinks containers or on-site consumption only, like hospitality sites, the DRS operates slightly differently.

Hospitality businesses can choose whether to pass the deposit on to consumers – if deposits are passed onto consumers, then businesses will need to operate as an open return point.

However, many are looking to not pass the deposit on and operate as a closed loop hospitality site where drinks containers are consumed on site and stored for collection by Biffa.

There are expected to be around 30,000 return points in Scotland of which consumers can return their drinks containers back to get their 20p deposit return.

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