Drinks cans and bottles deposit return scheme

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers was due to begin in July 2022 but it has been delayed until October 2025. This is a new law introduced by the Scottish Government to reduce litter and encourage recycling.

When it starts, you’ll pay a deposit of 20p on most drinks sold in plastic bottles and cans, which you buy to drink on the go or at home. The shops and cafes who sell them will take them back when you’ve finished with them and give you your deposit back.

The scheme will cover drinks sold in cans and clear plastic bottles. It doesn’t include milk bottles, or other things sold in similar containers like shower gel, ketchup or soup and will no longer include glass bottles, at least to begin with.

Find out more about the scheme, and how it will work on Zero Waste Scotland's website.

You’ll still be able to recycle drinks cans and bottles at home like you do now, but to get your deposit back you’ll need to take them back to a business who are part of the scheme. It won’t need to be the same shop you bought them from.

If you are a shop, café or other business who sells drinks in bottles and cans to drink away from your site, you’ll need to prepare to act as a collection point and arrange for these to be recycled. Find out the latest updates on SEPA's website.