backPress Releases

WSTA calls for delay & review of Scotland’s flawed DRS scheme

Environment | 02 March, 2023

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association is calling for a substantial delay and fundamental review of the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland following a “car crash” session in Holyrood shortly after the registration deadline expired this week.

In a masterclass of a politician repeatedly avoiding giving a straight answer Scottish Minister responsible for DRS, Lorna Slater, has left businesses fuming over her refusal – or inability – to answer a basic question on how many businesses had registered for the scheme.

The WSTA is calling on an immediate delay and a fundamental review of the flawed scheme which has seen just 664 producers registering for the scheme out of 4,500 – less than 15%.

The WSTA along with other trade associations feel they have reached an impasse with the Minister after months of considerable efforts to work with officials to try and resolve all outstanding issues to make the scheme work in practise.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade, Association:

“There needs to be a substantial delay to allow a fundamental review of Scotland’s flawed Deposit Return Scheme.

Lorna Slater confirmed that 664 producers have registered with Circularity Scotland Ltd (CSL), who had been expecting 4,500. This means that less than 15% of producers who sell products in Scotland have registered.

During the car crash debate in Holyrood, Lorna Slater, accused the UK Government of “misinformation and deception” over DRS, but in the absence of any straight answers to the live issues which require clarity, there is concern that Minister is putting her own spin on registration numbers to save face to the detriment of the Scottish businesses and consumers. In addition, she continues to be unable addition she continues to be unable to be unable to provide answers to basic questions about the scheme’s design, implementation and timetable.

The WSTA has long argued against the inclusion of glass in the Deposit Return Scheme. Put simply the scheme is not more environmentally friendly, will not improve the quality of glass recycling rates and is likely to lead to fraud. We are committed to reducing the amount of packaging placed on the market and improving collection and recycling rates.”

“A total of 26,000 SKU’s – unique codes to track products – have been registered with the scheme. CSL expected some 50,000. The WSTA believes there are currently over 100,000 SKU’s on shelves in Scotland – meaning that just 25% of products available in Scotland’s shops have signed up to the scheme.”


Notes to editors:

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirits. The WSTA works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact:

Lucy Panton 

Tel: +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile: + 44 (0) 7776422656

Share this:

Check our members benefits