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    Retail body welcomes delay, questions Scotland’s deposit return scheme

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    The British Independent Retailers Association has said that it welcomes the delay in Scotland’s deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers.BIRA, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has said they don’t think the current plans are “fit for purpose”.The deposit return scheme aims to incentivise recycling, reduce litter and also help to tackle climate change. Plans were for a 20p deposit to be added to single-use drinks containers which are made of PET plastic, metal or glass.It has been proposed that retailers accept items to be returned over the counter. Or, for larger stores, shopping centres and community hubs, there will be an automated machine.However, BIRA has said that the format could be damaging for smaller businesses as it will place extra costs onto them in what are already difficult times.It is also feared that products could disappear from shelves and stores will have to pay higher prices to producers, and there will be a delay in shopkeepers getting their money back.“BIRA welcomes the delay to this scheme that has been announced,” said BIRA CEO Andrew Goodacr. “It is clear that in its current format it is not fit for purpose and would damage small business operating in Scotland.“I also hope that similar schemes planned for England and Wales will look at the situation in Scotland (a scheme that has longer to develop) and delay the proposed launch of DRS in England and Wales. The devolved governments need to learn from each other and understand that a poorly designed scheme will not be good for local economies, and there are better ways to improve recycling,” he added.The delayed scheme is looking to now be launched on March 1 2024, rather than August 2023.

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