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Sector welcome for Scottish deposit return plans

Confirmation of a bottle deposit return scheme in Scotland has been welcomed by David Palmer-Jones, chief executive of Suez.

The policy announcement came from first minister Nicola Sturgeon in a statement to the Scottish Parliament about her Government’s plans for the coming year.

Sturgeon told MSPs that ministers would do more to support the circular economy and reduce waste.

“I can confirm today that we will design and introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers as an important part of our determination to tackle litter and clean up our streets,” she said.

Palmer-Jones said the move showed “encouraging and progressive leadership in reducing waste and litter”, and Suez backed UK-wide bottle return schemes for both environmental and economic reasons.

“While Suez supports deposit return schemes for plastic bottles, we believe fundamental progress in making the change towards a more circular economy can only happen if these schemes are part of a more strategically planned, integrated application of an extended producer responsibility regime; across all forms of resource usage, materials and packaging production;and their collection, reuse and recycling across the supply chain. 

“That level of strategic vision requires Government leadership. Businesses are showing willingness and the public is ready.”

He added that a bottle deposit scheme, starting with plastic containers, was a practical first step within a wider package of measures required to ensure that the UK’s emerging industrial strategy was a sustainable one.

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