Ministers want to reduce the volume of discarded drinks containers (pic: Terry Murden)
A 20p refundable charge will be added to drinks bottles and containers sold in Scotland in an ambitious bid to increase recycling and tackle litter.
The new Deposit Return Scheme will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and plastic. The scheme aims to capture 90% of drinks containers for recycling within three years.
It is based on experience in other countries and will be widely accessible, with all shops which sell drinks offering deposit refunds to customers.
However, one business group said ministers had ignored its concerns over the impact on smaller retailers and their ability to store containers returned to their shops. Another organisation said the inclusion of glass will drive up the cost of the scheme which will be passed on to consumers.
Colin Borland of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “A bottle deposit scheme is undoubtedly a popular idea. But it is understandable that those that run the very smallest shops have concerns about storage.
“That’s why we’ve been working with officials, underlining the importance of an opt-out for those without appropriate capacity. We’re unhappy that the Scottish Government hasn’t taken on board our concerns, despite a commitment to address the problems such a scheme poses for small retailers. Ministers need to explain to those that run the smallest shops how this scheme will work for them.”