Scotland’s deposit return scheme delayed until at least 2025

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SCOTLAND’S deposit return scheme (DRS) has been delayed until at least October 2025.

The Scottish Government said the delay comes as a consequence of the UK Government’s ‘refusal’ to agree to a full exclusion from the internal market act.

The UK Government imposed a number of conditions on Scotland’s scheme last week, which included the removal of glass and the requirement to align aspects of the scheme with those across the UK.

Following consultations with key businesses including producers, ministers said that they have concluded that certainty on critical elements of the scheme cannot be provided to businesses until the UK Government publishes more detail and therefore Scotland’s deposit return scheme will not go live until October 2025 at the earliest.

Addressing parliament, Scotland’s circular economy minister Lorna Slater said, “As of today, it is now clear that we have been left with no other option than to delay the launch of Scotland’s DRS, until October 2025 at the earliest based on the UK Government’s current stated aspirations.

“I remain committed to interoperable DRS schemes across the UK provided that we can work in a spirit of collaboration not imposition. I wrote again last night to the UK Government, to urge ministers to reset a climate of trust and good faith to galvanise and retain the knowledge that has been built in Circularity Scotland and DRS partners in Scotland.

“This parliament voted for a Deposit Return Scheme. I am committed to a Deposit Return Scheme. Scotland will have a Deposit Return Scheme. It will come later than need be. It will be more limited than it should be. More limited than parliament voted for.

“These delays and dilutions lie squarely in the hands of UK Government that has sadly seemed so far more intent on sabotaging this parliament than protecting our environment.”