Retailers in Scotland are calling for clarification on commission and vending machine costs, following the closure of the government consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) later this month.
The consultation launched by the Scottish government on 27 June seeks to design a scheme that works for everyone, by inviting individuals to submit their proposals.
NFRN national councillor and Glasgow Family Shopper owner Mo Razzaq said the next few months are crucial in finalising the scheme ready for implementation in 2019.
“The important part starts now,” he said. “We are expecting to hear the results of the consultation in October, which we believe will continue to be a period of negation.”
Razzaq said he hopes Scotland will follow in Estonia’s footsteps when it comes to formulating a commission structure.
“In Estonia, this decision wasn’t down to the government,” he said. “Instead, stakeholders, machine manufacturers and retailers worked together to decide a price. I think the government will go down this route,” he said. “The best outcome for us would be to receive 5p commission a bottle that is returned to our machine,” he said.
Razzaq said another concern for retailers is how much it will be to buy a vending machine. “We want a lease agreement between companies and retailers, because right now we don’t have a clue how much it will be,” he said. “If retailers can’t afford it, they will be left at a disadvantage.”
A UK-wide consultation is expected to begin later this year. ACS chief executive James Lowman said it’s important to work alongside Scotland ahead of this.
“We need to engage positively with discussions in Scotland and Westminster to try to shape what a scheme might look like, and how this can be designed to minimise the negative impact on convenience stores,” he said.
Read more: How the Scottish Govt's four DRS options impact retailers