Under the programme, based on schemes in Scandinavia, customers would pay a surcharge that would be reimbursed when they return to the shop.
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.
The Scottish government has been consulting Zero Waste Scotland on the design of the deposit return scheme, which the organisation estimates could save local authorities between £3m and £6m on litter clearance alone.
Zero Waste Scotland reviewed schemes in Sweden, Denmark and Norway as part of the consultation.
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “We have already confirmed that we are looking at new ways to ensure we keep as many valuable materials in circulation for as long as possible and deposit return is one of those options. We have asked Zero Waste Scotland to model a deposit return system to help us assess impacts and benefits.”
Zero Waste Scotland received 63 responses in its call for evidence on deposit return scheme design, including those from Coca-Cola, major supermarkets and Scottish environment groups.
An opinion poll conducted by the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland revealed that 78% of the Scottish publish are in favour of the scheme, but some major drinks companies disagree.
AG Barr, the maker of Irn Bru, warned that “the cost to the consumer would be in the region of £150m extra per year” in its submission.
It added: “The scope for fraud in a Scottish DRS is huge. On a small scale we could see people scavenging in bins for containers, as is the US experience. On a medium scale there is the potential for local authority amenity centre looting. And on a larger scale there is the very real possibility of cross-border trafficking of deposit-bearing containers. It costs around £400 to move a lorry load of cans from England to Scotland. A single lorry could carry 160,000 crushed cans or £32,000 worth of deposits.”
AG Barr put an end to its own 30p deposit return scheme for glass bottles in August 2015, which had been in operation for more than 100 years.