DRS handling fees revealed

Fees compare favourably to European schemes

Deposit Return Scheme

THE handling fee that retailers will receive for returned containers when Scotland’s deposit return scheme goes live have been revealed.

Scheme administrator Circularity Scotland Limited has confirmed the following fees for DRS, which is due to launch on 16 August 2023:

For manual returns, retailers will receive 2.69p per container;

For automatic returns – those return points using a reverse-vending machine that complies with Circularity Scotland’s specifications – the fee will be 3.55p for the first 8,000 containers received each week by the return point, and  1.35p for each additional container.

Closed loop hospitality venues will receive 0.13p per container.

A spokesperson for Circularity Scotland said: “We worked closely with our independent advisor to develop a detailed cost model aligned to the requirements of the regulations.

“Data to populate the model was sourced from the broad range of Return Point Operators (RPOs) that will operate in Scotland, and augmented with and validated by input from other operating schemes around the world (where appropriate), and major independent reference points and indices.

“The model is designed to reflect the variation in costs across different types and sizes of RPOs and materials.”

The CSL handling fees compare favourably to schemes operating in other markets.

In Estonia, handling fees for manual collections in 2020 were €0.0115 + VAT for PET and metal. Retailers taking manual returns in Norway receive a handling fee of 0.1 NOK, equivalent to around 0.008 pence, for plastic returns.

CSL’s confirmation of handling fees for DRS was swiftly followed by the announcement of a major investment in the scheme administrator.

The Scottish National Investment Bank has committed to a £9m investment in CSL. That investment was also crucial to CSL securing an additional £9m in capital from Bank of Scotland.

The investments combined will be used to fund the scheme administrator’s start-up costs as it prepares for next year’s live date.


Edit: Amended on 1 June at 12:20pm – The DRS handling fee for RVM collections over 8,000 units is 1.35p for each additional container, not ‘a further 1.35p’ as initially posted.