Hundreds of businesses in Scotland have joined forces calling on the government to 'delay, review and rethink' its Deposit Return Scheme.
The consortium claims that in just 48 hours a letter, calling on the Scottish First Minister to delay the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), has collected over 500 signatures from frustrated businesses and trade bodies.
First to sign the letter were business groups, including CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, SCDI as well as the Scotch Whisky Association, Scottish Wholesale Association, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality, and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
The letter, penned shortly after the registration deadline expired last week, followed news that 15% of producers who sell products in Scotland had registered for the scheme.
The consortium added that within two days, on the 6 March, 577 names were added to the letter sent to Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland.
The letter states, “We are all determined to play our part in driving sustainability, enabling a circular economy, improving recycling rates and tackling waste and litter. We share the objectives that DRS was set out to deliver, but in its current form, and without change, it is destined to fail.”
Deposit Return Scheme
Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme will see the Scottish public pay a deposit of 20p when they buy a drink in a single-use container and then get the deposit back when they return the empty bottle or can.
An independent Gateway Review into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 'go-live date' for Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme was announced by the cabinet secretary in March 2021.
The review found that the previous date in July 2022 was no longer practical and has set 16 August 2023 as the new date.
Other parts of the regulation will come into effect before the scheme goes live, as the government said it needs to make sure it is ready on day one.