Following the First Minister’s announcement of the new launch date for the Deposit Return Scheme of 1 March 2024, Minister for the Circular Economy Lorna Slater today (20 April) announced a series of changes to how it will operate.

Ms Slater updated MSPs at the Scottish Parliament. The changes are:

  • All drinks containers under 100ml will be excluded from the scheme. This represents 0.2 per cent of the scheme and addresses concerns raised by the soft drink, wine and spirits industries about miniatures.  
  • Products with low sales volumes (less than 5,000 items per year) will be excluded. This will help businesses that supply a niche product line with low sales. The change only represents 0.5 per cent of items from the scheme but removes the need of 44% of businesses to apply a deposit to their products, effectively removing many of the smallest producers from the scheme. 
  • All hospitality premises that sell the large majority of their drinks for consumption on their premises will be exempted from having to act as a return point. This will include venues that sell some drinks to take away. 
  • There will be a new, simplified online process for retailers to apply for an exemption for operating a return point.  
  • In response to concerns about producer agreements between businesses and CSL, CSL has been asked to produce a short-form producer agreement to reduce burden.