British Glass said independent research by Toluna indicates that only 42% of Scottish consumers have heard of a deposit return scheme and understand how it works and what it will mean in reality for their everyday lives.
Consumers might think that the glass bottles they return into a DRS will be returned to drinks manufacturers and refilled like the old Irn Bru system, but the Scottish Government proposed scheme sends collected bottles for recycling just like the current system.
20p per bottle sounds reasonable, but this means almost an extra £5 to be paid up front on a 24 pack of beverages for example.
The DRS doesn’t cover all glass, only beverage bottles, so consumers will also need to recycle sauce bottles and jam jars via different channels.
This research also shows that 25% of people do not plan to redeem the deposits on glass bottles at all and so we do not believe that the 90% return rate quoted by the Scottish Government is realistic.
Even with a 90% return rate on DRS glass bottles, there is a wider glass packaging system that is at risk once a DRS is introduced.
The glass supply chain believes that the best way to increase recycling rates is to reform the Producer Responsibility system and increase recycling targets.