Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme delayed again

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Scotland’s can and bottle deposit return scheme has been delayed once again.

Ministers have blamed coronavirus, Brexit and a row over tax rules as the latest reasons why the scheme has been pushed back.

The Scottish Government had hoped to bring in the 20p deposit for cans and bottles in April 2021, but the pandemic forced it to be delayed.

A new date of July 2022 was put on the scheme, but this now appears unlikely and no timescale has been given on the plans.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater told MSPs that the scheme would be up and running ‘as soon as possible’.

The idea of adding 20p to the price of cans and drinks in a bid to encourage recycling was first floated in 2017.

Ms Slater said: “The global pandemic and Brexit had a major impact on businesses, particularly retailers and those involved in their supply chains, and challenges persist today.

“Unfortunately the very businesses which will be most instrumental in making the DRS operate – including hospitality businesses, small convenience stores and small breweries – were and still are badly affected by the pandemic and the mismanagement of Brexit.”

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