You are a wholesaler if you:

  • market, offer for sale or sell drinks that you have not produced or imported yourself and are not selling to consumers, but instead sell to a retailer or other business that will sell to consumers.

This includes any third-party reseller regardless of whether you operate from a warehouse or not. 

What does this mean for me?

All drinks that are sold in single-use containers made from PET plastic, glass, steel or aluminium, sized between 50ml and 3 litres are included in Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme. These are called scheme articles. You may also see them being referred to as scheme containers.

If you are a wholesaler selling drinks (scheme articles) in Scotland or to a customer in Scotland, you will have to comply with the scheme. You will have legal responsibilities that you must comply with. These are called obligations.

Wholesaler obligations

As a wholesaler you must:

  • only sell drinks on the Scottish market that a registered producer has made available for sale in Scotland;
  • charge the deposit when marketing, offering for sale or selling a drink in Scotland or to a customer in Scotland;
  • make it clear to the customer that the drink is part of the scheme and a deposit applies;
  • clearly display the price of the deposit (20p) separate to the product price in any place that a drink is displayed for sale.

If you also sell drinks that are not part of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme or are not intended for sale on the Scottish market (non-Scottish articles), you must clearly display information at point of sale to show:

  • the drinks are not part of the scheme;
  • the empty containers from these drinks cannot be returned in exchange for the 20p deposit.

How can I check who is registered?

We will publish and maintain a register of all producers who are registered to market and sell scheme articles on the Scottish market. You will be able to check this to see who has registered to be part of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme.

The register will be available after the producer registration window closes in March 2023.


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