Glass bottles should be in drinks containers deposit scheme, say Tories

The Scottish Conservatives say the deposit return scheme for drinks containers should include glass bottles and be rolled out across the UK. Picture: Robert Perry
The Scottish Conservatives say the deposit return scheme for drinks containers should include glass bottles and be rolled out across the UK. Picture: Robert Perry
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A deposit return scheme for drinks containers should include glass bottles and be rolled out across the UK, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The Scottish Government announced plans in 2017 to introduce the initiative for bottles and cans to boost recycling and cut litter.

It would mean customers paying a deposit on top of the price of a product and getting their money back when a container is recycled at a designated point of return.

A public consultation on the scheme, which closed in September 2018, asked respondents what materials should be covered, including glass.

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It suggested an estimated 2.5 billion single use drinks containers are used in Scotland every year.

Last month, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham pledged to set out the next steps on its design “shortly”.

The Tories said expanding the scheme to include glass would cut litter and further help recycling.

The party’s environment spokesman Maurice Golden has written to Ms Cunningham to press the case.

He said: “This is an opportunity to create an ambitious and inclusive UK-wide system deposit return system, including glass, which will tackle litter and improve recycling rates.

“This would be a challenge for local government but local councils should see cost savings, partly because the substantial reduction in litter as well as less waste in bins.

“Glass manufacturing is a billion-pound industry in the UK, contributing thousands of jobs directly and in the supply chain.”

He said the scheme could separate glass by colour, aiding recycling efforts, and highlighted producing recycled glass consumes 30 per cent less energy than the original product.

Mr Golden suggested the recycled bottles could be used by the Scotch whisky industry and brewers in Scotland.

He added: “Including glass in a deposit system will help to discourage litter and encourage recycling which will create and maintain jobs while helping to tackle climate change.”

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