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Hundreds of businesses have joined forces calling on the Scottish Government to “delay, review and rethink” its Deposit Return Scheme

NA | 06 March, 2023

In just 48 hours a letter calling on the Scottish First Minister to delay the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has collected over 500 signatures from frustrated businesses and trade bodies.

The letter, penned shortly after the registration deadline expired last week, followed news that just 15% of producers who sell products in Scotland had registered for the scheme.

Despite considerable efforts by producers and their trade associations to make the scheme work, the letter reveals the frustrations felt by those involved that these efforts had “not been matched by Ministers and will not deliver a DRS fit for purpose.”

Within two days 577 names were added to the letter sent to Nicola Sturgeon today (Monday).

The letter states:

“We are all determined to play our part in driving sustainability, enabling a circular economy, improving recycling rates and tackling waste and litter. We share the objectives that DRS was set out to deliver, but in its current form, and without change, it is destined to fail.”

And goes on to dispute claims Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, that businesses want DRS to continue, adding: “We can tell you businesses the length and breadth of Scotland’s communities do not.”

The letter concludes that “pressing on with DRS, in its current form, would be reckless” and calls on the Scottish Government to “delay, review and rethink DRS plans, and give businesses more time to prepare and allow them to sign up for a scheme in which they can have confidence will deliver and without taking on unacceptable liability.”

First to sign the letter were leading business groups including – CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, SCDI as well as the Scotch Whisky Association, Scottish Wholesale Association, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

You can read a copy of the letter here – – which includes all the signatures collected before midday on Monday, 6 March.

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