Green motion is in the bank for Midlothian councillor

Midlothian Green councillor Ian Baxter
Midlothian Green councillor Ian Baxter

Green councillor Ian Baxter’s motion to press for a Scottish deposit return system for drinks cans and bottles has received cross-party support.

Midlothian Council will now write to the Scottish Government to urge ministers to back a deposit return system to complement local authorities’ existing services. The move follows similar action by 
Aberdeenshire Council

earlier this month.

Councillor Baxter said: “For far too long local authorities have been left to pick up after the drinks industry. Local taxpayers across Scotland pay substantial sums to collect littered cans and bottles, to empty street bins, and to pick up household waste.

“Deposit return would bring us very welcome cost savings, estimated at £13 million a year across Scotland, as well as sharply reducing our litter problem and bringing the prospect of more jobs locally in the recycling industry.

“I’m therefore delighted to secure backing for this approach from all parties here on Midlothian Council. We will be urging the Scottish Government to bring forward a deposit return system for drinks cans and bottles as soon as possible after the 
Holyrood election.

“We will also be working with other councils, including Aberdeenshire, to ensure that the system chosen fits well with our existing services and delivers the maximum benefit for Midlothian residents.”

The motion, which was seconded by SNP councillor Andrew Coventry, also found favour from Labour group leader Councillor Derek Milligan. He said: “I think it’s a positive motion. It’s a well-thought-out motion.

“And I wholeheartedly support this motion. It’s the way we maybe should have gone a few years ago.”