Return handling fees increased for DRS in Scotland

Circularity Scotland has announced an increase of up to 19% in the return handling fees for the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland, following consultation with industry and independent analysis by PwC.

Scotland’s DRS will go live in August 2023 and will revolutionise how Scotland recycles, preventing billions of drinks bottles and cans each year from ending up as waste and helping protect Scotland’s environment for generations to come. 

When the scheme is introduced, a 20p deposit will be applied on all single use drinks containers sold in Scotland, which people will then get back when they take their bottles and cans to any return point. 
Under the scheme retailers and businesses across Scotland will act as these “return points” and the return handling fee is the amount that they will be paid per container to cover their operational costs in being part of the scheme. 

The return handling fee has been recalculated following an independent assessment from PwC, which considered the impact of changes to the guidance around exemptions for return points announced by the Scottish Government last year and inflation. 

The announcement is the latest step in Circularity Scotland’s work to help businesses prepare for the introduction of the scheme and follows on from producer fees for the scheme being reduced by up to 40% in December 2022.

David Harris, Chief Executive of Circularity Scotland said: “We’re focused on delivering a deposit return scheme that works for businesses of all sizes and delivers for Scotland. We will continue to work closely with industry, helping them to prepare for the scheme and ensuring that the scheme runs as efficiently and at as low cost as possible from August 2023. These changes will not increase the total scheme implementation costs or producer fee.”

To help businesses prepare for the scheme, Circularity Scotland is also running a series of registration workshops in February at venues across Scotland, as well as online. Details on these workshops and how to register can be found at 

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