Scotland plans deposit return scheme for drink containers

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon listens to speakers at Scotland's Parliament in Edinburgh, Britain, September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland plans to tackle its “throw-away culture” by introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday.

The devolved Scottish government, which says it is trying to transform long term consumer behavior and convert Scotland into a low-carbon economy, wants to increase recycling rates and cut the production of litter. It is consulting businesses on the issue.

“The question of whether this scheme should extend to small retailers – who have specific difficulties that would need to be overcome – will be addressed as part of this process,” the government said in a policy document.

The Scottish government will also look at how to reduce demand for single-use items, such as disposable coffee cups, and appoint a panel to advise on the use of charges, similar to the successful plastic bag charge, it said.

Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary and Andy Bruce; editing by Stephen Addison