Beverage cartons for recycling

The report said cartons, pouches, HDPE plastic, biodegradable and other emerging plastics should be included in the future

Deposit return schemes (DRS) for bottles should be expanded to cover more packaging including cartons, pouches and HDPE plastic, a new report from Scottish MPs claimed this week.

The Scottish parliament environment, climate change and land reform committee said for the scheme to be most effective it should be “as comprehensive as possible”.

However, the report accepted that the scheme should begin with plastic and glass bottles and be adapted to handle other materials in the future.

“The Committee considers that the scheme should be as comprehensive as possible and should be designed to include cartons, pouches, HDPE plastic, biodegradable and other emerging plastics in the future.

“However, the Committee accepts that the scheme is focused on drinks containers at this time and the inclusion of additional materials will require to be phased in,” it said.

The committee also called on the Scottish government to consider allowing a flexible deposit for the DRS scheme, instead of the fixed 20p deposit regardless of container size it has proposed.

Fears have been raised the flat rate may drive purchases towards larger bottles and inadvertently increase the use of plastic.

Committee convenor Gillian Martin said: “There is no doubting the ambition behind the introduction of the deposit return scheme in Scotland.

“We support the initial focus of the scheme but have today asked the government to ensure we can add materials to the scheme, in a phased way, so it is as wide-ranging as possible.”