Scottish environmental academics urge Holyrood to ‘hold its nerve’ over DRS plans

Reverse vending machine in store
The Scottish Government is currently designing a deposit return scheme system for drinks containers

A number of Scottish environmental academics have called for the nation’s proposed deposit return scheme to include drinks containers of every material.

Six academics have made the call in a letter to The Scotsman, urging the Scottish Government to “hold its nerve” in the face of lobbying from special interest groups.

Signed by academics including Professor Murray Roberts, head of Changing Oceans Research Group at the University of Edinburgh, the letter reads: “With containers of all materials found on Scottish beaches, the all-in model makes sense in our national effort to slash litter and protect wildlife. Earlier this year a public consultation revealed strong support for a scheme that included the widest range of materials possible including PET bottles, metal cans, glass bottles, HDPE bottles, cartons and disposable cups.”

The letter continues: “Despite this special interests are lobbying for certain materials to be excluded from the scheme, riding roughshod over the public’s concerns about oceans and wildlife. In 2020 Holyrood must hold its nerve and ensure no materials are excluded from the proposed DRS scheme on the back of industry pressure.”

The letter was also signed by Dr Sian Henley (lecturer in marine science, University of Edinburgh); Professor Rupert Ormond (honorary professor, Heriot-Watt University & director, Marine Conservation International); Dr Alastair Lyndon (deputy director, Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Heriot-Watt University); Dr Alison Craig (lecturer, School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University); and Dr Mark Dorris (senior research fellow in materials, School of Engineering and Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University).