Scottish local shops denied compensation over delayed DRS

The Fed said: "Shopkeepers who took out leasing contracts are paying almost £4,000 a year for now redundant machines"

Plastic bottles recycling bin DRS deposit return scheme

Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf has claimed there is “no case” for compensation after the deposit return scheme (DRS) was delayed.

This comes after DRS was delayed for a fourth time last week, with circular economy minister Lorna Slater pushing its roll out back to October 2025, to be in line with the rest of the UK. Slater blamed Westminster for “sabotage” by requesting the scheme only goes ahead without glass.

Since the announcement, independent retailers have been calling on the government for compensation to cover the costs they’ve already made to their stores to prepare for the scheme.

Last weekend, Yousaf told the BBC there is “no case” for compensation. He said: “We don’t believe there’s a case for the Scottish government to need to compensate because the action we’ve had to take is because of that 11th hour, last-minute intervention from the UK Government, which has meant that a Scottish scheme, unfortunately, isn’t viable.”

In response, the Fed’s national deputy vice president, Mo Razzaq, explained: “How can the Scottish government claim that there is no case to answer? It told us repeatedly to get ready for this scheme. Shopkeepers who took out leasing contracts are paying almost £4,000 a year for now redundant machines to process returned bottles and cans. 

“Some retailers have also paid thousands for structures to house the machines outside or shop fitting to accommodate them inside. This is money they can ill afford. The number of store closures in towns and villages across Scotland confirms small shops have a fragile economic existence.”

He added: “The Scottish government’s claim to seek an improved relationship with business, will have faint credibility if it seeks to evade paying compensation.”

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