A disappointing outcome

Following on from last week’s blog focusing on Scotland’s proposed DRS, there was some disappointing news from the Scottish parliament.

On 29 April, the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee voted through Scotland’s proposed introduction of a national deposit return scheme (DRS). The regulations will now be subject to a vote in the Scottish Parliament, after which the scheme will become law.

In comment, Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, said: “While we are obviously disappointed that the scheme has been voted through in its current format, we were hugely encouraged by the clear concerns raised again by the Committee regarding the adverse impact of rolling-out a flat 20p deposit fee.

“We believe that the Scottish Government has buried its head in the sand with the proposed DRS, by failing to consider the valuable views of its constituents, its own Environment Committee and the packaging industry as a whole. With the real threat of unintended environmental and economic consequences, which could undermine the benefits of a well-designed scheme, the idea of a flat deposit fee is short sighted at best.

“It was, however, reassuring to hear the Cabinet Secretary’s acknowledgement of our concerns, as well as how the variable deposit could form part of a full review. Furthermore, the understanding that a variable deposit could be introduced via a negative statutory instrument was yet another positive take-out.

“A well-designed DRS could prove fundamental in tackling plastic pollution, increasing recycling rates, improving recyclate quality and minimising litter across Scotland. However, a flat deposit fee plays no part in a successful scheme and would result in a number of hugely negative implications.”

Unfortunately this shows the global challenges involved with implementing DRS; done well and it has potential in tackling pollution and increase recycling, but it’s potentially damaging and divisive. Let’s hope the 20p flat deposit fee is a gamechanger for this particular scheme…

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Stay safe everyone.

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