Well, at least this is a non-stupid way of doing it

We have made much here, over the years, of the merits and non-merits of recycling. If the activity is profitable then do it by all means - and if it is profitable then no one need be subsidised to do it nor forced to either.

If it's not profitable then don't do it, unless there is some compelling third reason - we're just fine with the idea that radioactive waste should be cleaned up at an accounting loss for there is still an economic profit in there. That doesn't apply to plastic bottles and the like so landfill is the best solution. Aluminium cans are a little different, in that once collected they are indeed profitable to recycle but those collection costs can make them not so.

Having said all of that about the task that is being undertaken this is at least a non-stupid way to achieve it

The Scottish government is planning to introduce a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans.

Customers would pay a surcharge when purchasing bottles or cans under the programme, which will be refunded when they return them to a shop.

Assume, in violation of our strictures above, that we really do want to recycle everything or near it. The way to do it is to make recycling have a positive value. Instead of browbeating everyone into a particular form of behaviour, or providing 7 plastic bins for each family, simply charge a returnable deposit. Some combination of Bob a Job week, professional scavengers and pocket money will then ensure that the collection to the recycling centres happens.

Or, as we might put it, the solution to a problem that markets unadorned are not solving is to use markets to solve it. Stick in that crowbar of what we could variously call either a deposit or a Pigou Tax and we're done. Make doing the activity have a positive value, not doing it a negative one and leave human nature to deal with the rest of it.

As before, whether this needs to be done is another matter but we should indeed give credit to people rediscovering the old system which does have the merit of actually working.