Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Drinks producers – what you must do

Drinks producers – what you must do

Who is classed as a producer?

The drinks producer could be:

  • The Brand Owner (if branded in the UK)
  • The Importer (if owned by a brand owner abroad)
  • An online retailer.

Before 1 March each year, or within 28 days of becoming a producer, all producers must either:

  • Register as a producer
  • Have the scheme administrator register for you. The scheme administrator acts on for the producer and supplies the information and data required on their behalf.

How to register

There are two ways that a producer can register to be part of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, either directly with SEPA or through the scheme administrator.

Registering with SEPA

 If you would like to register directly with SEPA please contact:


Registering through a scheme administrator

Visit the Circularity Scotland website for information on how to register:

Producer Registration | Circularity Scotland Ltd

In both cases your application must contain the information from Schedule 1 of the DRS regulations.

Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 Schedule 1

You must also have an operational plan that sets out how you will comply with these requirements.

You will need to pay the fee of £360 (if your turnover is greater than £85,000).


What are the responsibilities of a Producer?

If you are a producer, you must, either yourself, or through the scheme administrator:

  • Submit your registration on time
  • Let SEPA know of any changes within 28 days
  • Notify SEPA if you stop being a producer.

You are also required keep for at least 4 years all information about:

  • The number of items available for sale
  • What they are made of
  • The number of items returned by wholesale or retail
  • The number of items collected from each collection point and whether they were sited in a retail or hospitality business.


Return of packaging

You will also have to accept the return by any retailer or wholesaler the drinks containers that you sold to the retailer or wholesaler for the Scottish market.

You will also have to pay the 20p deposit for each item returned.

This also applies to items that you sold that are returned by a Return Point Operator ( e.g. reverse vending machines) or from hospitality businesses.

Pay a reasonable handling fee

Retailers, return point operators or hospitality retailers will have some costs associated with the collection and storage and transport of returned drinks containers. You will need to pay a reasonable handling charge to them in addition to the 20p deposit.

Meet the collection targets

Your operational plan needs to state how you will achieve the collection targets that have been set for drinks containers.

These require you to collect:

  • 70% of the items you sold in Scotland in the first full year of the scheme - 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023
  • 80% of the items you sold in Scotland in the second year of the scheme - 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024
  • From 1 January 2025 onwards, each year you must collect 90% of your drinks containers placed on the market in Scotland. To achieve the 90% figure, you must collect a minimum of:
    • 85% of all PET containers
    • 85% of glass containers
    • 85% of aluminium or steel containers.

Further Information

Circularity Scotland Producers

SEPA: Producers

Zero Waste Scotland: Producers: 

Zero Waste Scotland FAQs 

Circularity Scotland: Producer registration 

In this guideline:

What is the Deposit return scheme?

Customers - How will the DRS affect you?

Drinks producers - what must you do?

Retailers - What must you do?

Hospitality sector - What must you do?

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