New First Minister urged to make DRS ‘top priority’

Coca-Cola and AG Barr were among the beverage producers to urge Scotland’s new First Minister to make the country’s deposit return scheme (DRS) a priority.

It was announced on Monday that Humza Yousaf will replace Nicola Sturgeon and will immediately have a long list of things to deal with.

Scotland are due to implement a DRS in August, but the scheme has come under fire. The UK government has also threatened to block the plans.

The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), whose members include Coca-Cola, AG Barr, PepsiCo and Britvic Soft Drink, issued a statement to the new First Minister.

Roger White, the chief executive of AG Barr – the makers of Irn-Bru – said: “Scotland’s DRS delivers for the environment, society and industry and to delay it now would be to the detriment of all those things.”

Stephen Moorhouse, VP and general manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB, said: “We remain committed to the current timescale, but the Scottish Government’s clear and full support for DRS is critical if the scheme is to launch successfully in August.” 

Similarly David Pearce, the managing director of fruit juice firm Frobishers, added: “The Scottish Government and its new leader need to stay the course and deliver the scheme on time, as promised, this summer.”

William Watkins, managing director of Welsh spring water firm Radnor Hills, said: “The new first minister must ensure DRS starts in August to boost recycling and reduce littering. We’ve come this far. We can’t afford further delays.”

Paul Graham, the managing director for Britvic Soft Drinks in Britain said: “DRS is a proven step towards a circular economy and we look forward to Scotland leading the way across the UK in rolling out the scheme this August.”

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