Scottish Government delays implementation of DRS to July 2022

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

Scottish Government has delayed the introduction of the proposed deposit return scheme (DRS) by over a year to July 2022.

The scheme was scheduled to go live in April 2021.

In accompanying statement for Deposit Return Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2020, the government said the Regulations have been amended to include a commencement date of 1 July 2022 for key provisions concerning the scheme’s operation.

“It is at this point that DRS would be considered fully operational. This timetable has been developed following extensive engagement with the Scottish Government’s DRS Implementation Advisory Group (IAG),” the statement said.

The government, however, confirmed that it would include glass in the DRS, despite noting “strong interest from a significant number of stakeholders in the exclusion of glass from the scheme.”

“While we recognise that the inclusion of glass increases the cost and complexity of administering DRS, we remain convinced that the benefits outweigh these drawbacks,” it said in the statement.

The scheme proposes a 20p deposit on single-use drinks containers and materials will include PET plastic, steel, aluminium and glass.

Small retailers can apply for exemption from the scheme if there is an alternative return point ‘located with reasonable proximity to the premises’, with the operator of the return point agreeing to accept the returned items on behalf of the retailer.