Trade breathes a sigh of relief as DRS delayed

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The deposit return scheme – that was due to come into force from July next year has been delayed. No no date has been set at this time for its introduction.

The scheme, which would mean that people paid 20p deposit on a single-use contain and have it returned when the container is returned, is likely to be introduced later in 2023.

Commenting on the delay to the introduction of the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme, Executive Director for UKHospitality Scotland, Leon Thompson, said, “Scotland’s hospitality sector welcomes today’s news of a delay to the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme. Given the issues besetting businesses right now, a start date of July 2022 was never going to be achievable. However, we now await confirmation of the timescale the Scottish Government and Circularity Scotland are working to.

“During COP26, UKHospitality hosted a fringe event showcasing sector collaboration and innovation, clearly demonstrating how our businesses are working hard to achieve Net Zero and are already great supporters of the circular economy, delivering, for example, very high rates of recycling. Businesses are committed to playing their part in all aspects of environmental sustainability and a delay to the start of DRS until later in 2023 can ensure the scheme works for business, consumers and the environment.”

Scottish Beer & Pub Association Chief Executive Emma McClarkin said, “The beer and pub sector cautiously welcomes confirmation of a delay. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, it would have been impossible for the scheme to be ready by the previous date of July 2022.

“We all share the ambition of the Scottish Government to reduce emissions, improve recycling and speedily move towards a more circular economy – this delay is crucial in that. DRS will have massive impact on both brewers and publicans, to ensure a successful roll-out of the scheme, a delay until at least September 2023 is required.”

Ian Cumming, Commercial Director at Inverarity Morton welcomed the move telling The Dram,” I’m cautiously optimistic that we might end up going the right way on this one . It looks like a scheme designed to deliver political headlines rather than any meaningful environmental targets .  A lot of cost and bureaucracy for marginal potential increase against what is already a very high recycling rate with the current arrangements”.

Julie Dunn, Operations Director at Dunns Food and Drinks also told The Dram, “We would have preferred to have greater clarity in the Scottish Government statement, like an actual date.  Due to a range of factors including Covid, CSL set up and UKG dragging their feet on VAT there needs to be a delay until at least Summer 2023. We are backing the Scottish Wholesale Association in its continuing to engage with the Scottish Government”.

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