Deposit Return Scheme

From August 2023, the Scottish Government is placing a 20p returnable deposit on plastic, metal and glass drink containers.

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 to empty and rinse containers to remove residue.


  • Glass drink bottles, such as soft and alcoholic drinks, are included in the scheme.
  • Jars and other glass bottles, such as ketchup and sauce bottles, are not included in the scheme. Continue putting them in your glass recycling box.


  • All steel and aluminium drink cans are included in the scheme.
  • Food cans, such as soup and baked bean tins, are not included. Continue putting them in your blue bin.


  • PET bottles (most waters and fizzy drinks) are included in the scheme. 
  • HDPE bottles are not included, such as milk and probiotic yoghurt bottles. Continue putting them in your blue bin.
  • All other plastic bottles, such as for shampoo and cleansing products, are not included. Continue putting them in your blue bin.

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.

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