Polling shows strong public support for Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) 

Mark Diffley (Diffley Partnership)

NEW polling has revealed strong public support for Scotland’s proposed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The polling, conducted by the Diffley Partnership on behalf of TOMRA, one of the world’s leading producers of the reverse vending machines which take the bottles back, shows that 70 per cent of Scots are supportive of the scheme, with fewer than one-in-five people opposed.

The polling also revealed that:

  • More than 7-in-10 people (72%) think DRS should be introduced across the UK, and almost two-thirds (65%) are pleased that Scotland is to be the first UK nation to introduce it
  • The biggest driver encouraging people to use the scheme is to prevent damage to the natural environment and animals (53%), followed by the opportunity to recycle conveniently (43%)
  • Support for the DRS is highest among young people (76% among those aged 16-34) though it remains at over 6 in 10 for all age groups

The full polling results can be seen here. 1,080 respondents were surveyed from 10th to 15th February.

Commenting, Mark Diffley, Director and Founder of the Diffley Partnership, said:

“The data in this polling is clear and unambiguous, showing strong public support for the DRS among all sections of the population. 

“There appears to be a strong correlation between environmental concerns and support for DRS, with support for the scheme being particularly high among those who are most concerned about climate change, and who are motivated to using the scheme by a desire to stop damage to the environment.  

“With DRS having been a key debating point in the SNP leadership campaign so far, we hope this data will be of interest to the candidates as they move into the head-to-head debates.”

John Lee, Vice President for Public Affairs UK and Ireland at TOMRA, who commissioned the poll, added:

“TOMRA is one of the world’s leading producers of the machines which take bottles back, and wants to ensure businesses and consumers are aware and prepared for the changes.

“As part of our work we were keen to understand public opinion on the ground in Scotland, and the data gathered by The Diffley Partnership is extremely useful in helping us to understand that.

“International evidence suggests that DRS could reduce litter by a third, thereby increasing Scotland’s chances of meeting our climate change targets, and TOMRA’s experience across Europe suggests that the recycling return rate will be anywhere between 92% and 98%.

“We are here to offer our knowledge and experience to ensure that Scotland’s journey to DRS is as smooth as it can be.”

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