SCOTLAND's environment secretary has invited her counterparts from across the UK to a summit to draw up a co-ordinated plan for bottle return schemes.

Roseanna Cunningham said there are areas where working together is likely to deliver "greater benefits" UK-wide.

Scotland became the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme in September and the UK Government announced a consultation on its own version earlier this week.

Cunningham has written to UK environment secretary Michael Gove, Welsh environment minister Hannah Blythyn and Northern Ireland civil service head David Sterling, inviting them to a summit in Scotland to "develop an ambitious and coordinated approach to deposit return schemes for drinks containers".

"Our work over the last six months to develop design options has built on the expertise and experience built over some time in Scotland and I believe we have a great deal of knowledge to share," she added.

"While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have devolved responsibility for the environment, there are likely to be areas where working together offers the opportunity to deliver greater benefits across the nations of the UK.

"The time is now right for Environment Ministers, and senior officials in Northern Ireland, to come together to ensure we realise those opportunities."