Independent retailers in Scotland have engaged with the government on the scheme

Independent retailers in Scotland are backing a deposit refund scheme for plastic bottles and cans.

Delegates at the NFRN Scottish Conference yesterday agreed to engage on the issue with stakeholders, including the Scottish government and soft drinks manufacturers, in a bid to increase recycling levels in Scotland.

Details of the official scheme are not yet decided, but as part of the initiative, customers could receive a small reward for returning used bottles and cans to retailers.

“NFRN members are responsible retailers who want to play a role in protecting the environment and who recognise the damage that plastic bottles and cans can do to their surroundings,” said NFRN Scotland president Gail Winfield.

“It’s for that reason we have agreed today to support the Scottish government’s aim of cbut we want to ensure that any schemes to achieve this are developed in co-operation with the independent retail sector.”

The NFRN told The Grocer that by engaging with the initiative at this stage, retailers could help stakeholders come up with a workable solution for the scheme and avoid leaving themselves at a disadvantage.

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “With Westminster’s Environmental Audit Committee now looking at the damage done to the environment by plastic bottles and by coffee cups, this is ceasing to be just a Scottish issue,

“The decision of the Federation’s national executive committee, supported by the Scottish Conference, to take a proactive position on these important issues shows how seriously independent retailers take their responsibilities to the local communities that they serve.”