Deposit Return Scheme Scotland.

Deposit Return Scheme information website

With Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme going live in 2022, businesses should familiarise with any return point obligations they will have. 

Under the scheme, retailers that sell drinks will have a legal requirement to accept returns of empty drinks containers for recycling.

Deposit Return Scheme. Scotland

With Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme going live in 2022, businesses should familiarise with any return point obligations they will have. 

DRS Return Points.

Under Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme regulations, all retailers who sell, to consumers on their premises, in-scope drinks for take away must operate a return point. 

Deposit Return Scheme Scotland

When the Deposit Return Scheme goes live in Scotland, people will pay a 20p deposit when they buy a drink in a single-use container.  

Automated Return Points : Reverse Vending Machines (RVM's).

Deposit Return Scheme

Reverse Vending.

We have over 26 years experience in designing, installing, operating and maintaining Reverse Vending Machines (RVM's).

Reverse Vending Scotland

Handling Fee.

The handling fee should cover the costs of owning, managing and operating an Automated return point.

Prepare for the Deposit Return Scheme.

You need to show that you have carried out analysis of the number of containers you estimate will be returned in the average month. 

Manual Return Point. If you plan to operate a mostly manual return point, you should know how many members of staff you will require (whether paid staff, volunteers, or a mixture). 

Automated Return Point. If you are considering automatic returns, you should make sure you have the specifications of the Reverse Vending Machine RVM and know that the machine is suitable for your premises and the number of expected returns. 

Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)


Return point exemptions.

Under some circumstances, businesses will be able to apply for an exemption.

Proximity Exemption - You may apply for a Proximity Exemption if you have an agreement with another nearby return point, to act on your behalf.

Environmental Health Exemption - You may apply for an Environmental Health Exemption if you can demonstrate that operating a return point would mean you would be in breach of other legislation, such as environmental health, food or fire safety. 

Voluntary Return Point - You may apply to be a Voluntary Return Point if you can demonstrate that you have the plans in place to operate a successful return point.

Deposit Return

Manual Handling

Retailers manual return point.

All retailers must operate a return point (unless exempted). 

This applies to each store, not the owner. If you have multiple shops, all of them must act as a return point. All online retailers must operate a take-back service. As a return point you must: 

  • Accept scheme containers returned by consumers
  • Redeem the deposit for each container returned
  • Retain the packaging for collection by a scheme administrator
  • Provide a complaints procedure and contact details for making such a complaint, as well as contact details for SEPA

Return points will likely have to register with the scheme administrator.

Reverse Vending Machine

Automated return points

Retailers automated return point.

Reverse Vending Machines

A Reverse Vending Machine works like a normal vending machine, but in reverse. 

People put their empty bottle or can into the Reverse Vending Machine acceptance aperture, and get their deposit back. 

Reverse Vending Machines (RVM,s) give out vouchers rather than cash.

If you decide to get an RVM, there are a range of manufacturers. 

Financing of a Reverse Vending Machine RVM will be included in the handling fee. 


Deposit  Return scheme return  Point

Apply to be a return point!

Choose the best option for your business

Hospitality. If you sell any drinks for consumption off-site, you will have to charge the deposit to your customers and operate a return point.

Vending Machine operator. Vending machines will have to sell items that are deposit bearing and have the deposit clearly displayed, separate from the sale price.

Charities & community groups Organisations and businesses that have a vending machine only and don’t have a shop selling singe use drinks to take away, do not have to act as a return point for containers.

Community organisations, such as schools, will have the opportunity to act as return points for empty containers.



Note: This is an information page, we have no connection to any government organisation and no connection with the DRS Administrators.



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