British Glass eagerly awaits detail of Scottish deposit return scheme

British Glass eagerly awaits detail of Scottish deposit return scheme

September 6, 2017

British Glass – which is already working to increase the quantity and quality of waste glass available for recycling – is eager to see the detail of the Scottish Government’s promised deposit return scheme.

Nicola Sturgeon yesterday confirmed the development of a deposit return scheme (DRS) as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to reduce littering and increase recycling rates. Ministers plan to appoint an expert panel to advise on the use of charges, similar to the successful plastic bag charge, with the goal of encouraging long-term and sustainable changes in consumer behaviour.

British Glass chief executive, Dave Dalton said:

“Making new bottles and jars from recycled glass saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions – so UK glass manufacturers desperately want to get back as much glass for recycling as possible. And the great thing about glass is that it can be recycled indefinitely with no loss of quality: it’s the perfect circular material. A viable and effective deposit return scheme isn’t an easy thing to achieve – and British Glass is keen to see the detail of any system that actually brings more glass back for re-melt.”

Increasing the quality and quantity of waste glass for re-melt (known in the industry as cullet) is a long-standing priority for British Glass and its container manufacturing members. British Glass has been meeting with major brands and retailers, recyclers and local authorities – as well as working with Zero Waste Scotland and DEFRA – to explore how increased recycling can realistically be achieved. In July of this year its Close the loop workshop brought together all parts of the supply chain to explore practical steps each could take.

Dave Dalton said:

“Our experience shows that changes in one part of the waste and recycling system have complex and far-reaching – even unintended – consequences. Ensuring genuine, overall environmental improvement across the full supply network is a fine balancing act. British Glass will continue to work with the Scottish Government – and the full UK glass packaging supply chain – to provide technical input to ensure the best possible outcomes for glass from this deposit return scheme development.”

A meeting with the UK glass container manufacturers to discuss work around DRS – planned well before the Scottish Government’s announcement – will take place next week and discuss the Scottish proposals further.

British Glass is also actively working with industry partners on campaigns to promote recycling to consumers – under the Friends of Glass brand.     



British Glass is the representative body for the glass industry –  offering guidance to members on environmental, technical and legal issues; promoting glass and glass recycling; communicating the glass sector’s value and interests; and fostering the innovation and collaboration to secure a sustainable future for glass.

Close the loop is an informal group of organisations and professionals from across the glass packaging lifecycle who want to improve the UK’s glass recycling arte. Find out more. 

For more examples of British Glass work on packaging sustainability see:

Cooperating to close the loop on glass recycling

Recycling heros in Leeds

British Glass urges a collaborative spirit at Edinburgh summit