EXCLUSIVE: Menzies vehicles set to carry out bottle collections for Scotland’s deposit return scheme

Retailers have been told to receive differing collection frequencies dependent on store size

Menzies Distribution lorry

A “deal is in the pipeline” for Menzies to use its vehicles to collect bottles from retailers participating in the Scottish deposit return scheme (DRS).

Waste management firm Biffa is the current logistics partner for the scheme and is responsible for collecting containers from return point operators (RPO).

Speaking at Circularity Scotland Limited’s (CSL) conference this week, head of supply chain projects, David Wilson outlined the frequency of collections for RPO’s and what would be expected of stores in the process.

He confirmed Biffa is “in talks with retailers about commercial arrangements for pick-ups through existing networks”, as well as exploring opportunities for the council to undertake collections.

In response, a source told Better Retailing that a “deal was in the pipeline between Biffa and Menzies to collect containers when it delivers newspapers and magazines to retailers”.

At this stage, the details of how this will impact deliveries of newspapers and magazines, and those retailers not selling the category are unknown.

Wilson also confirmed that small retailers, including newsagents operating a manual return point can expect containers to be collected at least once to twice a fortnight, with medium-sized retailers, including larger convenience stores receiving collections once to twice per week.

From 16 August 2023, every single-use drink container sold in Scotland – including plastic bottles, cans, and glass – will be subject to a 20p deposit. This will then be refunded to consumers when they take back the container to their local shop acting as a RPO, via a return vending machine (RVM) or manually.

Menzies was unable to provide a comment in response to the claims.

Read more deposit return scheme (DRS) news and advice


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