Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan yesterday (Wednesday May 8th) questioned the Scottish Government on how proposals for a Deposit Return Scheme will apply to island communities like the Western Isles.

Deposit return schemes, in existence round the world as a way of reducing litter and increasing recycling, see consumers pay a small deposit that is fully refundable once the empty bottle is returned.

The islands MSP was questioning Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP during a Ministerial statement in the Scottish Parliament outlining how Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme will work. It will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change.

Alasdair Allan MSP said: “I very much welcome this progress. Deposit return schemes will have an important role to play in curbing litter and have proved to be effective in other European countries that have implemented them.

“It is important that the design of the system is flexible and takes into account people in island communities who may have to travel long distances to the nearest shop. It was therefore welcome to hear the Cabinet Secretary’s confirmation that there will be scope within the scheme for communal return points to be set up, at community centres or schools for example, to make it easier for people to return items.

“Keeping our local environment litter-free is especially important in the islands, given the natural beauty of our landscape.”