Drinks producers are being urged to register for the landmark Scottish Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) before the 1 March 2023 deadline.
Businesses making or importing drinks for sale in Scotland can appoint the scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland, to register on their behalf or they can register directly with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).
SEPA has warned that drinks producers who fail to meet the registration deadline face the risk of being unable to sell their products in Scotland after the DRS scheme goes live on 16 August 2023, when producers will have to charge a 20p deposit on each container they place on the market and arrange for empties to be collected for recycling.
According to SEPA, Scotland’s DRS is a first for the UK and puts Scotland on a path to a more circular economy by incentivising the return of bottles and cans and improving the quantity and quality of materials collected. By 2025 it will capture 90% of all drink containers included in the scheme, which is expected to provide 2 billion drink containers a year for recycling.
How it will work
The materials in scope of Scotland’s DRS include soft and alcoholic drinks sold in single-use containers between 50ml and three litres and made from plastic, glass, aluminium and steel.
Producers or importers of these materials for sale in Scotland must register with SEPA or through Circularity Scotland before 1 March 2023.
Retailers, wholesalers, and hospitality businesses in Scotland do not have to register with SEPA but they will still be required to comply with DRS regulations. Their obligations include only selling drinks from a registered producer and including the 20p deposit on each drink sold. They will also act as a return point, providing information on how customers can bring back their empty containers and receive a refund of the 20p deposit.
SEPA has confirmed that it will publish and maintain a list of all producers who are registered to market and sell their drinks in Scotland after the deadline.
For more information on Scotland’s DRS and how to register click here.