Circularity Scotland appointed Scottish DRS administrator

Scottish DRS
A reverse vending recycling machine that dispenses cash. (Photo: iStock)

The Scottish government confirmed today that it had approved the application of Circularity Scotland as the scheme administrator for the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

Circularity Scotland is a not-for-profit body which represents a combination of drinks producers, trade associations and retailers.

“I am pleased to announce that Circularity Scotland Limited has been approved to operate as a scheme administrator of Scotland’s ambitious deposit return scheme,” Scottish Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said.

“I am grateful for the industry’s collective commitment to move ahead with the scheme, despite the pressures of COVID-19 over the past year and we look forward to working with them to make the deposit return scheme a success.”

The agency would oversee the operation of the Scottish DRS, which is currently set to take effect on 1 July 2022, after the Scottish Government has delayed the introduction by over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, the government has commissioned an independent gateway review to assess the impact of the pandemic on the go-live date for the scheme.

The DRS proposes a 20p deposit on single-use drinks containers, and materials will include PET plastic, steel, aluminium and glass. The money is then reimbursed when the empty containers are returned.

Circularity Scotland said it will work with companies throughout the supply chain – from producers through to hospitality, wholesalers and retailers – to deliver a system that is expected to collect at least 90 per cent of drinks containers across Scotland.

“The appointment of Circularity Scotland as a Deposit Return Scheme administrator is a milestone moment – it allows us to begin delivering a world-class DRS that works for everyone. We will work closely with companies and trade associations throughout the supply chain to develop and operate a DRS system that works for all,” commented Donald McCalman, interim director of Circularity Scotland.

Pete Cheema, chief executive of the Scottish Grocers Federation, added: “Convenience stores in Scotland are absolutely central to the successful operation of the scheme. Their participation will ensure an efficient and truly Scotland-wide DRS. We look forward to working collaboratively with all our colleagues at Circularity Scotland.’’

Small retailers are exempted from the scheme, subject to having an alternative return point ‘located with reasonable proximity to the premises’ and the operator of the return point agreeing to accept the returned items on behalf of the retailer.