Reducing waste and encouraging people to recycle is important for protecting our natural environment. Throughout the world, many countries have implemented recycling programs to help increase the collection of recyclable materials so they can be reused instead of going into a landfill. Scotland is set to start the first Deposit Return Scheme in the UK later this year.
What is the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme?
The Deposit Return Scheme is a recycling program that encourages people to turn in their empty bottles and cans. The program will go live on October 2025. Zero Waste Scotland is working with the Scottish Government, Circularity Scotland, and Orkney Islands Council to implement the scheme throughout the UK.
How it Works
The scheme applies to drinks that come in single-use containers made from PET plastic, steel, aluminum, and glass. People who purchase these drinks will pay a small deposit of 20p and they will get the deposit back for each empty container they bring back to one of thousands of return points. Under this scheme, retailers who sell drinks that are part of the scheme must be a return point for people to bring their empty bottles and cans. Other businesses or organizations can apply to be voluntary return points where people can return their cans and bottles and receive their deposit.
Benefits of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme
The Deposit Return Scheme is designed to benefit everyone involved. Those who recycle will receive their deposit, recycling rates will improve, litter will be reduced, and the quality of recycled materials will increase.
The following are the main benefits of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme:
- Those who recycle will receive their 20p deposit.
- Deposit Return Scheme is supported by over 70 percent of Scots.
- Around 44,000 fewer plastic bottles will be thrown away each day.
- Recycling can reduce CO2 emissions by 160,000 tons each year.
- There will be more than 17,000 return points in the UK.
- By the second year, 90 percent of eligible containers will be collected.
- The cost of dealing with the indirect impacts of litter can be reduced by £62 million each year.
- Over 25 years, 4 million tons of CO2 will be cut.
How ECS Will Help Deposit Return Scheme Return Points
When the Deposit Return Scheme goes live on October 2025, retailers that sell drinks that are part of the scheme are legally required to be a return point for empty cans and bottles. This means that people will be able to return their empty drink containers at these points and receive their deposit.
Retailers who sell these drinks and act as a return point need to change their ticketing and signage to clearly display information regarding the scheme. Shelf tags and signage must label each product as part of the scheme, display the deposit value for the product separate from the retail price, and include information about how to redeem the deposit at that location.
ECS can help retailers quickly and seamlessly change their ticketing and signage to include this information. ECS5, our cloud-based retail software solution, allows retailers to manage their shelf tags and signage from one place. You can create templates for ticketing and signage within ECS5 and easily update information within the ticket templates for each item without creating new tickets. You can then set ticket batches to print from the dashboard and for electronic signage and shelf tags, you can implement the changes instantly. You can also manage the shelf tags and signage for multiple store locations from ECS5 to ensure that your communications are accurate for the specific location.
Using the current capabilities of ECS5, you can do the following to support the Deposit Return Scheme:
- You can duplicate and adjust ticket templates for products that are part of the scheme instead of making new tickets.
- You can assign signage templates to individual products at the head office so that the right ticket is used for products included in the scheme automatically.
- You can assign signage templates for each store so that new templates are used for the stores that are affected by the scheme while stores that are not affected by the scheme will not get the new amended tickets. This prevents manual errors that could cause a scheme store to get a non-scheme template and vice versa.
Streamline Customer Communications with ECS5
It is important for messaging and pricing to be accurate and consistent within retail stores and across multiple locations. ECS5 is a point of sale (POS) system that allows for efficient, multi-channel communications delivered to customers at the point of sale. From this single solution, you can create signage and ticket templates, print ticket batches, manage and implement digital signage, manage planograms, and automate batch printing and changes in digital signage. You can also manage communications across multiple store locations.
Retailers already using ECS5 can use it as is to create the ticketing and signage needed when the Deposit Return Scheme goes live. You can edit the shelf tag and signage templates within ECS5 to include the additional information for products affected by the scheme and even schedule the ticket batches to print so they are ready the day the scheme goes live. You can also schedule changes in electronic shelf tags and digital signage to update automatically when the day arrives.
Contact ECS to learn more about how ECS5 can prepare your store for the upcoming Deposit Return Scheme.