SCC Calls For Extension To DRS Implementation

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SCC Calls For Extension To DRS Implementation

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) have called on the Scottish Government to delay the implementation of its planned Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The letter notes that the Scottish Government is currently conducting an independent review of a feasible ‘go-live’ date for a Deposit Return Scheme and shares concerns from chamber members at the current implementation date of June 2022, considering the impact of the pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues.

The letter calls for the following actions from the Scottish Government:

  • Delay the implementation of the Deposit Return Scheme to 2024 and look to align the scheme, where possible, with the rest of the UK.
  • Undertake further consultation with sectors affected to ensure that the scheme is workable for both businesses and consumers as well as being cost-effective for business.
  • Rework the scheme so that it supports SMEs with the costs and resources that they would require to manually handle returns and source empties, as well as address safety concerns around potential breakages.
  • With an implementation date of 2024 in mind and once necessary changes have been made to the scheme: undergo a focused and targeted programme of engagement with stakeholders to ensure business readiness.
  • Reconsider the inclusion of glass in the DRS: the Scottish Retail Consortium has estimated that including glass in the DRS will add £50m per year to businesses’ operational costs. In the previous parliament, British Glass highlighted research that including glass in the DRS will disrupt existing recycling systems and will act against Scotland achieving its environmental ambitions.

The full letter can be accessed below:

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