Bottle Bill Resource Guide


United Kingdom (Wales, England, Northern Ireland)

On March 28, 2018, the United Kingdom’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced that a beverage container deposit return scheme will be introduced, subject to a consultation process to determine the details of the law and program operation. [1] Public consultation on the implementation of the scheme opened in February 2019, and closed 13 May of the same year. [2] A second consultation was held from March 2021 to June 2021. [3]

The government seeks to have a program set up to encompass England, Wales, and Northern Ireland by 2023. 


Teaming up with Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Government announced it would be implementing its own deposit scheme, after opening up consultation from 23 June 2018 to 25 September 2018. [4] In May 2019, the Government outlined the scheme's design, with a stated 20p deposit on all single-use containers.[5] In May 2020, the government passed legislation to implement the scheme in July 2022. [6] No scheme administrator has been announced.


[1] "Deposit return scheme in fight against plastic." Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. 28 March 2018.

[2] "Consultation outcome: Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers (bottles and cans)." Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Last updated 22 August 2019.

[3] " Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland." Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. 24 March 2021.

[4] "A deposit scheme for Scotland." Scottish Government, last updated 25 February 2019.

[5] "Scotland launches 20p deposit scheme for drinks cans and bottles." The Guardian. 8 May 2019.

[6] "Deposit Return Scheme." Scottish Government. Last accessed 6 March 2021.


Last Updated on 15 June 2021.

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