Nicola Sturgeon will commit her government to the introduction of a deposit return scheme, Sky News understands.
The initiative, which aims to cut single use plastic waste, is partly prompted by Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign. It will apply to plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans.
The Scottish government had already commissioned a detailed study into a deposit return scheme (DRS) and Sky News understands its ministers have been following Sky’s campaign closely, with concerns raised in its coverage fed into their decision-making.
Scottish ministers will now look at what DRS will work best, balancing the interests of the environment with the concerns of those opposed to such a scheme.
Coca-Cola reversed its opposition to a scheme in Scotland after Sky News exposed its strategy to “fightback” against it.
However, other drinks companies remain opposed to a DRS.
Barr’s, the makers of Irn-Bru, have said that it could be subject to fraud and create the possibility of cross-border trafficking of “deposit-bearing containers”.
Catherine Gemmell, of the Marine Conservation Society, described plans for a DRS as an “absolutely fantastic idea”.
She said: “Unfortunately, over the last few years, we have seen a big increase across our beaches on bottles, on cans and on glass as well.
“This is why we think a deposit return system will have a huge impact on decreasing the amount that we’re finding on our beaches.
“We had a huge success a couple of years ago with the 5p carrier bag charge – after that was put in place, we saw a 40% decrease in bags on our beaches, so we think deposit return is definitely the next best thing.”
John Mayhew, of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, also welcomed the commitment.
He said: “That’s a really great move for Scotland and I’d also like to say how much we appreciate the support we’ve had from Sky News over the last year.
“We know that it will reduce litter, tackle climate change, it’ll boost our recycling rates in Scotland, it’ll save money for local authorities and it’ll produce better materials that we can use in our recycling industry.”