Scotland delays deposit return scheme until 2024

The Scottish government has announced it has delayed the introduction of its deposit return scheme [DRS] until 2024.

The scheme, that would see a 20p deposit will be added to all single use cans and bottles, was planned to start in August and has now been delayed again.

The DRS was initially planned for 2021, but has faced numerous delays due to the Covid pandemic and also concerns from drinks producers.

First minister Humza Yousaf announced the delay and said: “A number of business organisations have expressed concern, in recent months, about the balance that the Scottish Government has been striking. In fact, they have called for a reset of the relationship between business and Government. And I’m happy to start that reset today.

“I remain committed to the [DRS] as a way to increase recycling, to reduce litter on our streets and our beaches, and to help achieve our net-zero ambitions. But we recongise the uncertainty that continues to be created as a result, of course, of the UK Government delaying [its] decision to exclude the Scheme from the Internal Market Act. Now, we had hoped for a decision this week, but it has not come.

“At the same time, myself and the Circular Economy Minister [Lorna Slater] have heard the concerns of businesses, particularly about the readiness of the scheme for launch this August. As a result, we will now delay the launch of the scheme until 1 March 2024.”

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