Scotland and UK cannot afford to lose DRS, Circularity Scotland says



Circularity Scotland, which was appointed as the deposit return scheme (DRS) administrator by the Scottish government, says Scotland and the UK cannot afford to lose the DRS.

Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf, who has previously accused the UK government of trying to “scupper” the scheme, has said Scotland’s DRS is at risk and set a deadline of yesterday (5 June) for the UK government to withdraw its demand that Scotland excludes glass from the scheme.

UK ministers have since rejected Yousaf’s request for the UK government to roll back on its decision to exclude glass from Scotland’s DRS.

Circularity Scotland claims the scheme has become “mired” in political differences which have obscured the environmental and financial benefits of DRSs. Circularity Scotland Ltd. is a not-for-profit private company set up more than two years ago by over 95% of the market.

Its members include Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, AG Barr, Heineken and Tennent Caledonian. Circularity Scotland says the companies committed to the establishment of a DRS in Scotland to address the litter and environmental issues caused by their packaging.

The scheme we have built for the people of Scotland brings together proven best practice from around the world.

Approximately, £300 million has been invested in Scotland’s scheme by drinks producers, retailers and businesses delivering the scheme’s infrastructure. Circularity Scotland also says that more than 650 jobs are being created across its organisation and partners.

Circularity Scotland claims the scheme – which will see a 20p deposit added to drinks containers to be refunded when they are returned empty – is crucial to Scotland’s commitment to climate change targets and will remove “hundreds of millions” of bottles and cans from streets, beaches and green spaces.

The scheme administrator has also insisted that a Scottish pilot DRS, which is then scaled up, is the logical path to delivering “an interoperable pan-UK scheme”.

Circularity Scotland insists the groundwork is in place for the scheme to still go live as planned on 1 March 2024 without glass, and must form the pilot for deposit return elsewhere in the UK.

We therefore ask everyone to get behind the scheme.

Chief Executive David Harris, commented: “I am disappointed at how the laudable aims of this scheme and its environmental and business benefits have become the target of negativity and misinformation. The scheme we have built for the people of Scotland brings together proven best practice from around the world.

“The Scottish Government has highlighted that the removal of glass from the scheme changes the economic model of the scheme and the breadth of the environmental benefits it will provide.

“However, there would be a risk to jobs and investment if the scheme does not go ahead for cans and plastic, not to mention the ongoing environmental impact we will see from too many of these containers continuing to end up as waste.

“We therefore ask everyone to get behind the scheme and we will continue to share our knowledge, expertise and innovation with our partners across the UK as they plan and develop their schemes

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