i can see this running smoothly …..

Deposit Return Scheme to Go Live August 2023

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will go live on 16 August 2023, Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater has announced in a statement to the Scottish Parliament.

How money flows through the scheme

Drinks producers have several obligations under the regulations and can appoint a scheme administrator to discharge them on their behalf. It is anticipated that most producers will choose to do this, so this guide is based on this scenario. 

There are three key elements of the cash flow for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme. These are:

  • The 20p deposit
  • The producer fee
  • The handling fee

The 20p deposit

The main cash flow element is the 20p deposit. The flow of deposits is cost neutral for all parties.

Producers will likely pay a deposit for each drink they place on the market and report the number of containers they’ve placed onto the market to the scheme administrator.

The scheme administrator will then invoice them for the deposit amount. For example, if a producer places 10,000 bottles and cans onto the market, they will pay £2,000 in deposits.

Each time the container is sold throughout the supply chain, the deposit is charged and paid by the buyer of the drinks, reimbursing the money to the seller:

  • Wholesalers will pay 20p on every bottle or can they purchase from drinks producers
  • Retailers will pay the 20p deposit on every drink they purchase from wholesalers
  • Consumers pay the 20p deposit on every drink they buy from retailers or another business

At this stage, every business has their deposit money back.

Businesses that sell drinks exclusively for consumption on-site will not have to charge the 20p deposit and will not act as a return point. 

You will still pay the 20p deposit when purchasing stock, and will then be reimbursed by the scheme administrator for all empty containers you return to the scheme. 


Consumers will be able to take back their empty bottle or can to any return point in order to claim their deposit back. 

They are paid from the retailer’s own funds. The retailer then invoices the scheme administrator, who reimburses them (from the funds received from producers).

The return point is reimbursed by the scheme administrator for all the deposits it has paid out to consumers. 

This means that all participants – the producer, the wholesaler, the retailer, and the consumer – have their 20p back and no-one is left out of pocket.


Yeah, right.

Roll on August, that should be fun.

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