CAMPAIGNERS want Scotland's deposit return scheme to mirror a Scandinavian model after a study found widespread support for variable charging levels.

Polls in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway found at least 97 per cent of people believed the system in their country was easy to understand and simple to use.

Support for the systems used in Sweden and Norway reached 99 per cent.

READ MORE: Recycling scheme could cut 30,000 plastic bottles a day in Scotland 

The Scandinavian model includes a deposit imposed on drinks containers based on their size and material -rather than a flat rate.

Campaign group Nature 2030 is calling on the Scottish Government to be flexible when it brings forward detailed proposals for a deposit return scheme.

The group believes that the success of the variable deposit model in the Nordics shows implementing a similar scheme in Scotland could be the key to solving its waste crisis.

Spokesman Neil Garrick-Maidment said: “Deposit return schemes done right can dramatically reduce plastic pollution and boost recycling.

“The Scottish Government has a once in a generation opportunity to tackle the waste crisis across the country. Scandinavia is showing the way forward. We’d be mad not to follow their example.”

The study found that the overwhelming majority of respondents agreed that the variable deposit was fairer for shoppers than the flat deposits used in countries such as Germany.

Dr Sian Henley, lecturer in marine science at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The introduction of the Scottish deposit return scheme will be a crucial step in moving the country towards a real circular economy. It’s vital we get it right by adopting an all-in approach.

“We can learn a lot from countries that have had schemes in place for a number of years. It is clear that the models used across the Nordic nations are popular with shoppers and instrumental in promoting recycling, and can act as world-class examples for Scotland to follow.”

The Scottish Government regulations will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and PET plastic subject to a 20 pence deposit.

READ MORE: Scottish deposit return scheme: Cans and bottles to carry 20p deposit to save waste

MSPs are expected to vote on the proposals later this year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We continue to make progress with plans to implement our ambitious deposit return scheme as part of our response to the global climate emergency.

"We are carefully considering the recommendations contained in the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s recent report on the regulations, including those relating to variable deposits. We will bring forward the final regulations to establish the scheme shortly.”

Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Maurice Golden said: “We are for variable deposits as they encourage consumers to make the best environmental decisions.

“It’s essential the policy brings business with it to ensure the economy isn’t harmed and small companies aren’t disadvantaged."