Circularity Scotland collapsed with debts of more than £86m



The scheme administrator for Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) Circularity Scotland (CSL) collapsed with debts and liabilities of over £86 million, filings reveal.

CSL entered administration in June, putting 60 jobs at risk, after Scotland’s DRS was delayed until at least October 2025 after the UK government declined a request for full exclusion from the Internal Market Act, which meant the scheme must exclude glass.

Documents from companies house show the firm collapsed with debts totalling £86, 186, 796 with total assets available for preferential creditors estimated to be £2,111,836.

The largest creditor listed is Biffa, the logistics partner for Scotland’s delayed DRS, with a liability of £65 million.

An administrator’s proposal document states that based on current estimates, unsecured creditors will only receive a nominal dividend. The document continues that administrators are yet to determine this amount but will do so when they have realised assets and paid associated costs.

As the logistics partner for Scotland’s DRS, Biffa was responsible for collecting drinks bottles and cans from return points, as well as managing the bulking and counting centres that will process material for recycling.

Earlier this year, Biffa announced it was investing £7.7 million to build a recycling centre as part of a network of Biffa-run facilities across Scotland.

Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden from Interpath Advisory were appointed joint administrators of Circularity Scotland.

In June, Interpath Advisory said that following Scotland’s DRS being delayed CSL wouldn’t be able to meet various “significant contractual obligations” without additional funding. The administrators said the focus was now on securing and realising CSL’s available assets for the benefit of its creditors.

In June, The British Beer & Pub Association, British Soft Drinks Association and Scottish Retail Consortium said they no longer have the confidence required to continue funding CSL. A joint statement said a “high degree of political uncertainty” disrupted the scheme and put the future of CSL at risk.

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