THE Scottish Government has announced its plans for a 20p deposit return scheme to combat climate change.

The scheme means that the price of drinks in cans and bottles will increase by 20p but consumers will be refunded the amount if they return their empty cans and bottles to collection points.

All shops which sell drinks will offer deposit refunds to customers making the collection points widely accessible.

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Scotland was the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme as part of our wider efforts to prevent discarded drinks containers from ending up in our streets and seas, and is now the first to outline its design - one that is ambitious in scale and scope, and which gives the people of Scotland a clear and straightforward way to do their bit for the environment.

“There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations.

"I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering polyethylene terephthalate – the most common form of plastic packaging – aluminium and steel cans, and glass, with a deposit refund set at 20p.”

The plans have been welcomed by various environmental groups including Zero Waste Scotland.

Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “This will be a game-changer for recycling and the circular economy in Scotland.

“By giving people an extra incentive to do something good for our environment, and having a consistent approach across Scotland, we are confident it will be easier for all of us to do the right thing.

She added: “This will improve the volume and quality of recycling and help tackle litter in the process.”