Scots say glass should be in DRS, finds survey

Empty glass bottles

Almost seven in 10 adults in Scotland say glass should definitely be included in Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).

At the other end of the scale, the online poll of 1,019 over-18s found less than 5% thought glass should definitely be excluded.

The latter were probably retail and recycling industry insiders; the SGF, SRC and SWA were all quick to condemn the move when the inclusion of glass in the scheme was announced, while Viridor – the only company in Scotland with glass recycling facilities – said it was “not a fit” for Scotland’s DRS.

SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said the organisation would fight “tooth and nail” to have glass excluded, while SRC Head of Policy Ewan MacDonald-Russell said it would be an “enormous burden” on smaller stores.

Colin Smith, SWA boss, was also critical. “Our concerns about including glass and exempting small shops have not been taken on board,” he said.

The survey results were published alongside new online content highlighting what ZWS suggests are the benefits of including glass in the scheme. The information can be found at depositreturn.scot.

ZWS expects the scheme to increase the recycling of glass bottles from around 65% at present to 90%. It also calculated that the inclusion of glass in Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will cut the country’s carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 25 years, with 1.5 million tonnes of recycled glass produced over the same period.

Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer for ZWS, said the environmental evidence showed why Scotland is right to include glass in its deposit return scheme “from day one”.

“People in Scotland want glass to be included in Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme as part of ambitious action to protect our environment,” he added. “The carbon emissions savings make it clear that they are right.”