In a bid to encourage more consumers to recycle drinks containers and tackle plastic litter, the Scottish government has introduced a deposit return scheme under which consumers will have to pay a 20p deposit on every bottle (plastic or glass) or drinks can (aluminium and steel) they buy.
The scheme will cover single use bottles ranging from a 50ml whisky or vodka miniature to three-litre bottles of cider. Every can or bottle in a multipack of beer, water or cola will also attract the 20p charge.
It will include online retailers too, with only restaurants and pubs selling drinks for consumption on the premises excluded. Scottish government officials said they did not yet know whether it would include mobile food or ice cream vans.
Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish environment secretary, has refused to exempt small shops from the new scheme, leading to immediate protests from retailers, who are already affected by minimum pricing for alcoholic drinks.