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Drinks container recycling initiative planned by environment secretary

According to the environment secretary, Scotland’s litter problem will be effectively tackled by proper schemes that offer incentives for recycling of drink containers. A feasibility study of adopting the same scheme from Sweden, called the deposit refund scheme, will be undertaken by Richard Lochhead.

The scheme adds a small fee to the cost of the drink, and this is refunded when the container is returned. In Sweden this included cans and bottles. The problem of cans and bottles that are littering Scotland will be effectively handled by adopting this scheme, said Mr. Lochhead.

According to an estimate, every 100m of motorways in Scotland have at least 3 drink cans and 4 plastic bottles. In Sweden, the scheme has led to an 85% recycling rate, and the collected items are recycled in recycling industries.

‘Recycle and Reward’

Since the start of the year, 8 recycle and reward schemes have been launched in Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland, the managers of the program, offers vouchers, donations, and money to encourage people to recycle the drink containers, and is set to assess the effect of these programs on littering.

For 140 years, Irn Bru Manufacturer, AG Barr, has been giving deposits for the return of glass bottles. Jonathan Kemp, the commercial director, said that they deliver returnable bottles to shops, and each is sold for £1, and upon returning the bottles they get 30p in return.

He went on and said that upon collection, the bottles are brought back to the plant, washed put properly, get a new label and cap, and are taken back to the shops to be used again. About 12 million returnable bottles are sold by the Cumbernauld-based company every year, but the commercial director says that the market has been affected by several factors over the recent years.



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