Deposit Return Scheme postponed until October 2025 in Scotland

9 June, 2023

UKHospitality Scotland expressed immense relief on behalf of businesses throughout Scotland upon learning that the implementation of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in the country has been postponed until October 2025.

The highly anticipated introduction of the flagship recycling initiative, originally scheduled for March of the upcoming year, has faced an unexpected setback.

Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slater, informed Members of the Scottish Parliament on 7th June that the implementation of the scheme had to be postponed due to a directive from the UK Government. The directive stipulated the removal of glass from the scheme's jurisdiction.

Prior to this announcement, UKHospitality Scotland had cautioned that additional measures were necessary to ensure the scheme's practicality for operators and to prevent it from turning into an additional burden of taxation on businesses.

Leon Thompson, UKHospitality Scotland executive director, commented:

"Hospitality businesses across Scotland will be breathing a huge sigh of relief hearing this news and I'm delighted that the concerns raised by UKHospitality Scotland have been heard loud and clear.

The Deposit Return Scheme, even before recent UK Government interventions, was not ready to launch in March and businesses had made that clear to the Scottish Government.

Evidently, those interventions have made the prospect of launch impossible."

The recent decision to delay the implementation of the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland marks the third time it has been postponed.

Consequently, the scheme is now scheduled to coincide with the introduction of similar schemes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Leon emphasised the urgency of adopting a collaborative approach among all governments involved to ensure a cohesive and synchronised roll out of the scheme.

He added:

"It's crucial that there is maximum alignment and interoperability across all schemes, to make things as simple as possible for businesses.

Businesses are not against a recycling scheme - far from it. Hospitality already has one of the best recycling records in the economy and we can do even more, but a Deposit Return Scheme needs to work for businesses. It cannot be yet another piece of red-tape that is costly and burdensome.

It's time for work to begin on a scheme that can genuinely achieve the environmental and sustainability ambitions we all have, with true engagement with business."

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