The Scottish National Investment Bank has committed £9m to fund the development of Circularity Scotland Limited, to help people recycle billions of single-use drinks containers every year.
The Bank’s investment was key to securing an additional £9m capital from Bank of Scotland. Together the investments will fund the start-up costs of the administrator for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, which will go live in August 2023.
The Deposit Return Scheme will support Scottish Government efforts to help households to return empty, single-use containers for collection for recycling. It will help to tackle climate change, increase quantity and quality of materials collected for recycling, and decrease litter, supporting a circular economy.
Mark Munro, Executive Director, Sustainable Investment at the Scottish National Investment Bank said: “We are pleased to be able to support the roll out of the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland by investing in Circularity Scotland. Increasing recycling rates is a vital component in Scotland’s transition to net zero, one of the Bank’s key missions.”
The investment supports the Bank's mission to support a just transition to net zero and its objective to leverage private capital in its investments.
Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater also welcomed the investment. She said: “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in Scotland's deposit return scheme, which will be the first of its kind in the UK and one of the most environmentally ambitious and accessible in Europe.
“By capturing billions of bottles and cans every year for recycling, it will make an important contribution to our response to the climate crisis.
“I look forward to working with Circularity Scotland as they use this funding to deliver Scotland’s deposit return scheme, which will go live nationwide in August next year.”
David Harris, Chief Executive Officer at Circularity Scotland added: “We are delighted to be working with Scottish National Investment Bank and Bank of Scotland.
“Their investments alongside those already received from industry will support our work in providing Scotland with the most comprehensive and efficient Deposit Return Scheme in the world.
“We are committed to being a highly effective and efficient scheme administrator creating exciting employment opportunities and this funding makes that possible.”
Scott Joyce, Associate Director, at Bank of Scotland said: “Addressing the sustainability challenges the country faces requires collaboration from within the financing ecosystem.
“So, we were keen to be able to work with the Scottish National Investment Bank on this funding arrangement and ensure Circularity Scotland Limited has the support needed to make a success of its recycling initiatives. We look forward to seeing the scheme go from strength to strength.”
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Notes to editors:
Scottish National Investment Bank
The Scottish National Investment Bank is Scotland’s first development investment bank, wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland.
The Bank is an impact investor, focussed on delivering both commercial returns and mission impacts with its investments. The Bank is a PLC and operationally independent from government.
The Bank invests in business and projects connected to Scotland to deliver long term, patient debt or equity investment where the private market is failing to provide the support businesses and projects require to grow.
The Bank’s missions are:
- Supporting Scotland’s transition to net zero
- Building communities and promoting equality
- Harnessing innovation to enable our people to flourish
The Scottish Government has committed to capitalising the Bank with £2bn in its first 10 years. Over time as the Bank’s initial investments are repaid, the Bank will reinvest those funds in businesses and projects creating a perpetual investment fund to support the Scottish economy in the long term. The Bank was established in November 2020.
Circularity Scotland was set up in 2021 with the specific purpose of administering Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). It represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers and works with companies throughout the supply chain – from producers through to the hospitality industry, wholesalers, and retailers. It was set up with a simple mission - to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place.
Circularity Scotland was successfully approved as a Scheme Administrator by the Scottish Government in 2021 which tasked it to ensure the scheme is rolled out successfully and operates efficiently in line with the ultimate goal to recapture 90% of Scotland’s single-use drinks containers.
As well as handling the financial and logistical aspects of the scheme, it will actively help drinks producers, importers, wholesalers and retailers to understand how Circularity Scotland can support them with the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme. The organisation will also play a part in educating the public about how the scheme will work for them and how it benefits Scotland’s economy and the environment.