Deposit Return Scheme

From October 2025, the Scottish Government is expected to place a 20p returnable deposit on plastic and metal drink containers. At this time we expect that glass bottles will be excluded from the scheme.

Zero Waste Scotland are designing and implementing the scheme.

When you buy a drink, you will pay a deposit of 20p. You will get the 20p back when you return the empty bottle or can. You would return them to a participating retailer or Reverse Vending Point.

What this means for your existing recycling collection

You can still recycle these items in your blue bin and glass box, but you won’t get your deposit back for the ones covered by the scheme.

Remember: empty and rinse containers to remove residue.

What's included and what isn't

Included in the scheme
Metal All steel and aluminium drink cans.
Plastic PET bottles (most waters and fizzy drinks).
Not included (continue recycling)
Glass All jars, drink bottles and other glass packaging such as ketchup and sauce bottles.
Metal Food cans, such as soup and baked bean tins.
Plastic HDPE bottles, such as milk and probiotic yoghurt bottles.
All other bottles, such as for shampoo and cleansing products.

Will the council claim the 20p back instead?

No. Glass is broken when collected, and plastic bottles and cans are squashed. This means the barcode or watermark used to manage the scheme and claim the deposit can’t be read.

Midlothian Council is not responsible for the implementation or operation of the scheme.

Wasn't the scheme meant to be introduced earlier?

Yes. On 18 April, the Scottish Government announced an extension to the implementation date to March 2023 to address some concerns held by small businesses.

On 8 June, the Scottish Government announced a further delay to the implementation.

We could spend another £90k on services if everyone recycled properly

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