Letter to Scottish government calls for delay to DRS

Date Posted: 8 Mar, 2023

Hundreds of businesses have joined forces calling on the Scottish government to “delay, review and rethink” its Deposit Return Scheme.

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.

The letter was penned shortly after the registration deadline expired last week and followed the news that just 15% of producers in Scotland had registered for the scheme.

Despite considerable efforts by producers and their trade associations to make the scheme work, the letter claims the efforts of businesses had “not been matched by ministers and will not deliver a DRS fit for purpose.”

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.”

The letter goes on to dispute claims made by the minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, that businesses want DRS to continue, adding: “We can tell you businesses the length and breadth of Scotland’s communities do not.”

In conclusion, the letter affirms that “pressing on with DRS, in its current form, would be reckless” and calls on the Scottish government to “delay, review and rethink DRS plans, and give businesses more time to prepare and allow them to sign up for a scheme in which they can have confidence will deliver and without taking on unacceptable liability.”

Signatories include CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, SCDI as well as the Scotch Whisky Association, Scottish Wholesale Association, the Society of Independent Brewers, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality and the WSTA.

View the full letter here.