Campaign win for MCS! Scottish Parliament votes through Deposit Return Scheme


Scottish Parliament has voted through the final piece of legislation needed to confirm the implementation of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) that MCS have been campaigning for, for over five years.

The MCS is disappointed that the Scottish Government has delayed the start of the system from April 2021 to July 2022, meaning our beaches will continue to be blighted by increasing numbers of bottles, cans and glass. They are concerned by what this delay might mean for other parts of the UK and are calling on all of our political leaders to ensure further work to move towards lower carbon emissions and a circular economy is still suitably prioritised.

When the system eventually starts it will be a fantastic win for our ocean, so we still want to celebrate the news with you all, as we did not achieve this on our own.

Thank you to all of our Beachwatch volunteers for collecting that crucial data on how much glass, metal and plastic in the form of bottles and cans were turning up on Scottish beaches. When it is safe to do so, we will be relying on you to help collect that data again so we can demonstrate the positive impact of Scotland’s DRS just as we did with the 5p carrier bag charge.

Thank you to everyone that emailed MSPs and Scottish Government Ministers to ask them to look at the evidence and take the right action for our ocean.

Thank you also to all our friends and partners who helped make this happen. An especially big shout out to the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland who expertly ran the Have You Got The Bottle? campaign, of which we were proud founding members. This campaign coalition of over 100 organisations was crucial to the success we will be celebrating in July 2022.

To everyone who has helped us to get to this point in Scotland we and our seas cannot thank you enough!”

The UK Government has committed to implementing a DRS in England in 2023, a full year beyond the delayed date of the Scottish system starting. In Wales a similar date is being considered. MCS will be continuing their work to ensure this is the best it can be and that systems are brought in across the UK as soon as possible to help free our ocean of bottles and cans.

The Marine Conservation Soceity want to see Deposit Return Schemes rolled out across the rest of the UK to have the maximum benefit for our seas. Please watch out for how you can help make that happen.

For more information about the work of the Marine Conservation Society visit their website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit

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