Councils demand to know more about deposit return scheme

By Martin Ford | 09 February 2022

Councils are unsure about the full implications of deposit return schemes ahead of their rollout, according to new research.

A report by the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) found councils needed ‘urgent advice’ on the impact of the scheme on their waste services and kerbside collections.

Scotland is poised to become the first part of the UK to adopt a deposit return scheme, in which consumers are charged deposits for drinks containers made from glass, aluminium or plastic.

Scottish councils have faced uncertainty after the introduction was pushed back from July this year to August 2023.

APSE found the uncertainty had impacted on councils’ ability to negotiate contracts and some had been forced to extend current arrangements instead of planning ahead.

Chief executive of APSE, Paul O’Brien, said: ‘Without the necessary input of local government, the deposit return schemes, and its purported benefits, will falter, thereby jeopardising local, regional and national environmental targets.'

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