Littered bottles set to vanish in new scheme

The Scottish Government is expected to introduce legislation to enable the scheme later this year helping to keep Aberdeenshire a cleaner place to live.
The Scottish Government is expected to introduce legislation to enable the scheme later this year helping to keep Aberdeenshire a cleaner place to live.

More than 550,000 plastic bottles could be kept out of the environment in Aberdeenshire thanks to a pioneering new scheme that will encourage people to recycle more and litter less.

Figures published by environmental body Zero Waste Scotland reveal the scale of plastic bottle dumping in Aberdeenshire – and how it will be reduced by Scotland’s forthcoming deposit return scheme.

Under the scheme, shoppers 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.

That 20p will give people an extra incentive to recycle their empty bottles and cans, and make people think twice about dropping them.

The new figures show that people in Aberdeenshire go through 34 million plastic bottles every year and that an estimated 612,000 plastic bottles are littered in Aberdeenshire each year.

With a 20p incentive not to throw away your empties, Zero Waste Scotland estimates a 90% reduction in litter for the materials included in the scheme.

This would mean 551,000 fewer plastic bottles littered within Aberdeenshire local authority each year. That’s around 1,500 every day.

With plastic bottles only one of the materials included in the scheme, the overall impact on litter is expected to be even higher.

Jill Farrell, chief operating officer, Zero Waste Scotland said: “Our new figures reveal how Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme could visibly slash the number of littered plastic bottles in Aberdeenshire.

“The great thing about Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme is it will give people a 20p incentive to do the right thing with their empty bottles – take them back for recycling, rather than risk them ending up on our streets or in our rivers.”

For more information about Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, visit www.depositreturn.scot