Scotland delays DRS to 2025

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Scotland’s deposit return scheme is now set to be delayed until October 2025 at the earliest.

The flagship recycling scheme was supposed to launch in March 2024, but circular economy minister, Lorna Slater, said she had been left with no choice after the UK government excluded glass from the Scottish scheme.

The delay means that the Scottish scheme is likely to launch at the same time as similar proposals for other parts of the UK.

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, said: “When it comes to implementing a well-designed and high performing DRS, interoperability between neighbouring nations – for the right scheme – is very welcome. Indeed, ensuring compatibility minimises burden and risk, while maximising overall impact, engagement and reward.

“Following this week’s announcement, our focus must move quickly to optimising scheme design. A variable deposit rate, to this end, is therefore non-negotiable. It supports the use of recyclable packaging (such as aluminium) – an important win for the environment, while also better incentivising consumers to participate in the scheme with higher deposits for larger plastic bottles. By doing so, a variable rate fee has the best opportunity to drive an uplift in recycling rates.

“With time now more on our side, collaboration is key. The supply chain and government need to work closely together to ensure Scotland’s DRS is not only objectively designed, but also effectively aligned to other neighbouring nations. In the intervening period, there is still plenty of work to do to increase recycling rates within existing systems. As always, we’ll be getting on with that crucial job.”

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