The Deposit Return Scheme is now law, are you ready for its introduction?

On the 13th May, the Scottish parliament rubber-stamped the introduction of a DRS (Deposit Return Scheme) in Scotland. The introduction of the scheme means that from 1st July 2022 retailers will be legally required to charge 20p deposit on PET plastic bottles, glass bottles, and metal cans.

The deposit is then refunded when the item is returned for recycling. Furthermore, bars and restaurants will also be required to operate the DRS and provide return stations if the products are sold for take-away.

Drinks producers will be able to register with the  Scottish Environmental Protection Agency from 1st  January 2022, and all producers will need to be registered by the time the scheme is fully operational for their products to be saleable in Scotland.

Those who follow Excel Vending will know that we have been long-time advocates of DRS; in fact, we championed the cause by becoming early investors of the key equipment required to operate any successful return scheme. Reverse vending machines will play a pivotal role in the collection of single-use plastic bottles, glass bottles and metal cans. Excel Vending has not only invested in the equipment, but we have also been actively promoting reverse vending and DRS via a series of live educational demos in schools, universities and shopping centres.

Additionally, we have hosted the Press and representatives of the Scottish parliament at our showroom to demonstrate reverse vending machines and the part they will play in delivering the new DRS legislation.

Clearly, there is much to be done before July 2022 when the new legislation becomes law. Retailers need to look at what they need to provide to be able to accept returns and to be able to refund deposits. This may include making space for reverse vending machines within their retail space.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) is currently working with stakeholders on the implementation of a Deposit Return Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland which is due to start a year later in 2023.

Excel Vending is well placed to help with the infrastructure required to meet the new legal requirements. We are expert in reverse vending technology and have the machines that not only accept the returns, but they will also manage the refunds that are a critical part of the scheme. We have already installed a number of them in offices, hospitals, universities , colleges and schools.

Excel Vending are the exclusive UK distributor for RVM Systems, the leading reverse vending machine manufacturer from Sweden for the UK vending and hospitality sector.

We are delighted that a Deposit Return Scheme has been introduced by law. Evidence demonstrates that this kind of scheme will massively reduce the disposal to landfill of single-use plastic, glass bottles and metal cans. The passing of legislation is very welcome, but we know there is a great deal to be done if we are to see a meaningful increase in the recycling of these products and we are here to help in any way we can.

If you’d like to discuss the new legislation and what it means to your business, please email us at, or call 013552 69999. We will be happy to chat you through the DRS and the options available to you.

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