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Heard about the DRS and don't know where to start? Our deposit return scheme FAQs hub will tell you all you need to know about the scheme and what it means for your hospitality, retail, or leisure business.
Scotland had planned to be the first nation in the UK to implement a Deposit Return Scheme however in June 2023 this was delayed. You can read the statement from the Scottish Government here. Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will now launch in October 2025 at the same time as Deposit Return Schemes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland has a separate Deposit Return Scheme going live in February 2024. You can find more information about the scheme here.
A well-designed Deposit Return Scheme reduces littering, improves the quality and quantity of recycling, and plays a positive role in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
If you sell single use beverage containers in Scotland, yes, unless you meet very speciﬁc exemption criteria.
SEPA has powers under The Environmental Regulation (Enforcement Measures) (Scotland) Order 2015, including the power to impose fixed or variable criminal penalties for noncompliance (on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum of £10,000, or on indictment and conviction an unlimited fine).
The scheme is designed to be cost neutral for retailers. You will therefore receive a “handling fee” from the scheme administrator to reimburse you for the costs of playing your part in the Deposit Return Scheme.
A reasonable handling fee is defined in the legislation as: