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By Colin Smeeton
Environmental groups, business owners and those with an interest in recycling had their say when representatives of Zero Waste Scotland visited Arran as part of a consultation on Scotland’s deposit return scheme.
The engagement event was one of seven which are taking place on Arran, Islay, Orkney, Bute, Lewis, Skye and Lerwick and which cover all six local authorities for Scotland’s islands.
Zero Waste Scotland representatives Aurelie Tartaud and Stuart Murray explained in detail how the recycling scheme for drinks cans and bottles will work on Arran and other Scottish islands.
Under the scheme, people will pay a 20p deposit when buying drinks purchased in single-use plastic or glass bottles and aluminium or steel cans. People will get their money back when they return their empty container for recycling.
All types of drinks in containers made of PET, steel, aluminum and glass and holding from 50 ml to three litres in size are included.
Scotland will be the first part of the UK to introduce the scheme and as part of the consultation, Zero Waste Scotland representatives were particularly interested in learning about the impact that it would have on island businesses and industry.
This feedback will be particularly helpful when the Scottish government completes an islands impact assessment to ensure that any significant unique impacts on island communities are captured and mitigated against.
Legislation for the return scheme was laid in the Scottish parliament in in September. Once these regulations are passed by the Scottish parliament, which is expected to happen early next year, there will then be an implementation period of at least 12 months before the scheme starts is expected to start in 2021.
It is hoped the scheme will reduce emissions by the equivalent of four million tonnes over 25 years, or an average of 160,000 tonnes of CO2e every year. Zero Waste Scotland has estimated that the scheme could reduce littering of plastic bottles by as much as 31,000 items per day across the country.
Zero Waste Scotland representatives Aurelie Tartaud and Stuart Murray have been touring the Scottish islands to explain how the Deposit Return Scheme will affect islanders. 01_B44zero01
Delegates at the event hold informal discussions over lunch. 01_B44zero02
Delegates listen intently to learn how the scheme will affect them and the impact it will have on the environment. 01_B44zero03