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‘Deposit and Return Scheme’ to affect pharmacies in Scotland


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Pharmacists who sell drinks in their pharmacies in Scotland will be affected by the ‘Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020’ which is said to be implemented from 16 August 2023.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) believes that pharmacies must be exempted due to ‘restricted space and clinical hygiene issues.’

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 covers production, importing, marketing and sale of drinks packaged in a single-use container made from PET plastic, glass, steel or aluminium sized between 50ml and 3 litres. The regulation was due to be implemented July 2022 but delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

According to the regulation, when businesses sell a drink in a single-use container, they will charge a 20p deposit, which the purchaser can get back when they return the empty container. NPA said: “It has been confirmed by Scottish Government that initially only the largest grocery supermarkets will be obliged to provide a takeback service, phased in by 2025; and all other businesses will be exempt at this time.”

“It is unlikely that pharmacies will be required to offer a return scheme,” said NPA.


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