Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater hails Eurocentral investment
Work is well underway on a multi-million-pound Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) facility that will create up to 140 jobs near Glasgow.
As Circularity Scotland's official DRS logistics service partner, Biffa is investing more than £80m to develop the infrastructure needed to deliver the scheme, including the £6m transformation of a former parcel depot on the Eurocentral industrial park in Motherwell.
Following the launch of DRS in August, the site will form part of a network of Biffa-run facilities across Scotland that will count, sort and bale the billions of plastic, glass and aluminium drinks containers collected through the scheme each year by the waste management company.
The material will then be recycled back into brand new bottles and cans.
David Harris, Circularity Scotland's Chief Executive, who was given a tour of the Eurocentral site to see how work is progressing, said: "This is another important milestone in preparing for the launch of the Deposit Return Scheme in August.
"The DRS will transform how Scotland recycles, preventing billions of bottles and cans each year from ending up as waste.
"This is a ground-breaking initiative that can act as a catalyst for the green economy in Scotland, creating jobs and supporting local economies while also helping protect our environment for generations to come.
Lorna Slater, Circular Economy Minister, added: "Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme will be a major part of our efforts to reduce litter, cut emissions and build a greener, more circular economy.
"With billions of bottles and cans to be collected, sorted and recycled, the scheme will be a major national undertaking and will help bring new economic opportunities across the country.
"It is great news that a state-of-the-art recycling centre is coming to Eurocentral. This investment is a direct result of Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme and shows the wider benefits it will bring to our environment and economy."
Around 140 jobs will be created at the new facility, from multi-skilled operatives and HGV drivers to weighbridge operators and managers. In total Biffa is expected to create around 500 jobs in Scotland as a result of DRS.
Gavin Money, Biffa's DRS Operations Director, said: "We are working closely with Circularity Scotland and progressing well with the exciting and ambitious plans for the launch of DRS in Scotland, which will see new recycling infrastructure developed across the country.
"The Motherwell site will play a key role as a regional collection and counting hub, handling some of the billions of plastic, glass and metal drinks containers collected each year from across Scotland."
DRS is a fundamental part of Scotland's efforts to tackle climate change and create a circular economy by reducing waste.
DRS aims to ensure that at least 90% of recyclable drinks containers are captured and prevented from becoming waste.
Producers responsible for more than 95% of containers placed on the market in Scotland have now registered to take part in the scheme and SEPA, the scheme's regulator, has confirmed registration will remain open to enable all producers to sign up in time for the launch of the Deposit Return Scheme on August 16.
A refundable 20p deposit will apply to all single-use PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass drinks containers ranging in size from 50ml to three litres.
People will be able to return their bottles and cans to thousands of shops across Scotland. Some venues will accept items over the counter, while larger stores, shopping centres and transport hubs will operate automatic collection points known as reverse vending machines.