Deposit Return Schemes (DRS)

Deposit Return Schemes (DRS)

A Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is a scheme to improve the quality and quantity of recycling of single-use drinks containers. These schemes exist across Europe already, and will launch in the UK in 2025. It will work by consumers will pay a cash deposit (in Scotland this has been set at 20p) when they buy a drink in a single-use container, which they can claim back if they return for recycling.

On January 20th 2023, the Government response to the consultation Introduction of a deposit return scheme in England Wales and Northern Ireland was published. We have updated a general briefing for members below. 

Read our briefings below to understand the basics of the Deposit Return Schemes and if you are in Scotland, you can go to for more detailed information. Zero Waste Scotland is the Scottish Government's implementation partner. 

HTA Member Briefings on Deposit Return Scheme

HTA Scotland Members Briefing on Deposit Return Scheme

Materials icluded in the Scottish DRS system will be PET plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, and glass bottles, from sizes of 50ml to 3 litres. The scheme will come into force in Scotland on Saturday 16th August 2023, but early adoption could occur on a voluntary basis from November 2022.

HTA Member info on DRS V2

Updated information on the Deposit Return Scheme - February 2023