Deposit Return Schemes

Reverse Vending Machines (also known as RVM’S) are the pit pony of the bottle deposit systems.

Scotland Deposit Return Scheme

Scotland was the first part of the United Kingdom to announce that it is bringing in a deposit return scheme for drinks packaging. Scotland’s deposit return scheme will increase the quality of materials for recycling, the materials will be non contaminated, pure, separated and ready for recycling. The Scottish deposit return scheme (DRS) will improve recycling rates and reduce litter significantly.

Brief History


We installed the very First Reverse Vending Machine in Scotland (link)


The Climate Change Act (Scotland) provides for the “setting-up” of a deposit return scheme.


The Zero Waste Plan was published by the Scottish Government, which included a target to increase recycling to 70% by 2025.


The Scottish Parliament passes The Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which place new responsibilities for recycling on business.


We undertook DRS “pilots” at IKEA Edinburgh and Glasgow stores with funding from Zero Waste Scotland , named “Recycle and Reward” the pilots were a huge success and helped create a case for the Deposit Return Scheme. (link)


The Scottish Government publishes its national litter strategy and introduced the carrier bag charge.


Zero Waste Scotland publish a feasibility study on where a deposit return scheme could work for Scotland. After engaging with stakeholders Zero Waste Scotland publishes research findings about any potential deposit return scheme for Scotland.


Scottish Government published “Making Things Last” circular economy strategy.


On the 4th of September 2017 we participated in a News item about Deposit Return Schemes and Reverse Vending with STV. (link)


On the 5th of September 2017 Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scotland will introduce a deposit return system for drinks containers.


In June the Scottish Government began a Consultation period on possible approaches for the deposit return scheme and undertakes public engagement events across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland.


In February Scottish Government publishes its analysis of the consultation. (link)


On the 8th of May 2019 Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham told MSPs at Holyrood that a "return to retail" model would be adopted. (link)


Zero Waste Scotland have been tasked by the Scottish Government with advising on the design of Scotland’s deposit return scheme, working with partners to provide support and advice on its implementation.

Scotland - Reverse Vending

With an established Reverse Vending sales team, service and maintenance team and a deposit return team all working from large offices in Edinburgh we are here to help you! We have large Reverse Vending warehousing, RVM offices and a Reverse Vending showroom in Edinburgh. We have spare parts hubs throughout Scotland and hold a large selection of Reverse Vending Machines (RVM’s) and RVM Systems on stock in Scotland.