EXCLUSIVE: Handling fees in Scotland’s DRS increased

The fee was recalculated following feedback from industry

Scottish DRS

Independent retailers are to receive an increase in commission for taking part in Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS).

In a message sent to businesses by scheme administrator Circularity Scotland Limited (CSL), and seen by betterRetailing, handling fees will be risen by 19%, following independent analysis by accounting company PwC.

“The return handling fee has been recalculated following feedback from industry and an independent assessment from PwC, which considered the impact of inflation and changes to the guidance around exemptions for return points announced by the Scottish government last year,” it read.

As a result, retailers operating a DRS via automation will now receive 3.7p for the first 8,000 items returned each week, up from 3.55p. They will also receive an extra 1.6p for each additional item, up from 1.35p.

However, those businesses taking bottles back manually will see no change in their commission, with this being kept at 2.69p per bottle.

CSL stressed that the revisions will not increase the total anticipated cost of the scheme and will continue to follow the reduced producer fee announced in December.

DRS is set to be implemented in Scotland from 16 August.

CSL chief executive, David Harris said: “We’re focused on delivering a deposit return scheme that works for businesses of all sizes and delivers for Scotland. We will continue to work closely with industry, helping them to prepare for the scheme and ensuring that the scheme runs as efficiently and at as low cost as possible from August 2023. These changes will not increase the total scheme implementation costs or producer fee.”

The Fed‘s national deputy vice president Mo Razzaq added: “We welcome the fact that our representations to Circularity Scotland have been heard and that they have listened to our concerns regarding the proposed handling fee for retailers who install reverse vending machines.

“However, some smaller shops will not have the space for a machine and will have to store returned containers manually.

“With this in mind, and in the interests of fairness, we would like to see the manual handling fee increased accordingly and we will continue to press Circularity Scotland to do so.”

Read more deposit return scheme (DRS) news and advice


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