PLANS to introduce a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans have been welcomed by Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur.

Under the proposals put forward by the Scottish Government, local shoppers will have to fork out an extra 20p for each product they buy which comes in a container made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which typically carry fizzy drinks and water.

The levy will also be added to glass bottles, with all retail outlets, regardless of size, having to adopt the scheme.

READ MORE: Plans for Barrhead funeral parlour rejected by councillors

Customers will get 20p back for each container they return. This can be done over the counter at shops or by using a ‘reverse vending machine.’

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the scheme, which could be up and running within two years, but business leaders have expressed concerns over the impact on small retailers.

Mr Arthur, whose constituency includes Johnstone, Elderslie, Kilbarchan, Lochwinnoch, Howwood, Barrhead, Uplawmoor and part of Neilston, said: “The deposit return scheme will help to increase recycling rates and reduce litter and will give everyone a clear and straightforward way to do their bit for the environment.

READ MORE: Community Council's initiative to combat crime​

“It’s great to see plans for the scheme gathering pace and I look forward to engaging constructively with businesses in Renfrewshire South as development continues.”

Colin Borland, of the Federation of Small Businesses, hailed the scheme as “a popular idea” but said it is understandable that those who run the very smallest shops have concerns about storage.

He added: “We’ve been working with officials, underlining the importance of an opt-out for those without appropriate capacity.

“We’re unhappy that the Scottish Government hasn’t taken on board our concerns, despite a commitment to address the problems such a scheme poses for small retailers.”

Read the latest from the Barrhead News