Scotland delays DRS until 2025

UK government blamed for delay for removing the requirement for stores to accept glass bottles

drs delays

The Scottish government has confirmed it is to delay the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) for a second time in two months.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater gave a statement in Holyrood last week, claiming the earliest it would now be introduced is October 2025.

In her address, she blamed the UK government for removing the requirement for stores to accept glass bottles, and claimed it had “offered no justification for removing one of the most significant parts of the scheme”.

The latest DRS plans for England and Northern Ireland, also due to be introduced in 2025, do not include glass.

The news will come as a further blow after it was only announced that it would be delayed until 1 March 2024, in April, after Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf said he wanted to “re-set” the government’s relationship with business.

Scheme administrator Circularity Scotland’s chief executive, David Harris, described the news as “disappointing”. He said: “We made it clear that the industry was prepared, and that a scheme without glass is economically viable and is an opportunity for Scotland to provide a platform for a UK-wide DRS.”

The ACS’ chief executive, James Lowman, stressed: “It is absolutely essential that the governments of the UK work together to introduce a scheme that works for everyone, is effective at increasing recycling rates and does not impose unnecessary conditions on the retailers that will be delivering the scheme on the ground.”

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