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Summit to discuss co-ordinating deposit return schemes across UK

Ministers will come together today at a summit in London to discuss how to co-ordinate work on deposit return schemes (DRSs) across the UK.

Organised by the Scottish Government, the Deposit Return Scheme Summit will discuss a set of principles for the design of the schemes, which would involve people getting back a small deposit paid for buying drinks in a single-use container when they return it empty.

Rural and environment ministers from the Government and devolved administrations are also expected to agree that officials from each administration will work together to establish the potential for further co-operation on the design and operation of DRSs.

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that Scotland had shown its environmental leadership by becoming the first part of the UK to commit to such a scheme.

“This summit is an opportunity to work with the Government and devolved administrations to help maximise the benefits of DRSs across the nations of the UK,” said Cunningham. “It’s also a chance to learn lessons from other administrations, such as Wales, which has made great progress reducing its household waste. 

“Agreeing to a set of principles will ensure that we are all working to common objectives, which provides the basis for further work around the potential for deeper co-operation around the design and operation of a DRS to reduce litter in our towns and countryside and protect our environment.”

The summit at Scotland House, London, will be attended by Cunningham; Mairi Gougeon, minister for rural affairs and the natural environment, Scottish Government; Thérèse Coffey, UK parliamentary under secretary of state for the environment; Lesley Griffiths, Welsh cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs; Hannah Blythyn, Welsh minister for environment, and Dr Denis McMahon, Northern Irish permanent secretary for the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Last month the Scottish Government launched its consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland. 

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