A warm welcome for the latest guidance

Scheme administrator identifies benefits for smaller retailers

DRS machine
The latest government guidance on DRS makes it easier to apply for exemptions.

THE administrator for the deposit return scheme in Scotland, Circularity Scotland, has said the latest government guidance will significantly reduce the cost of the scheme for the industry and consumers.

Chief executive David Harris said: “We warmly welcome this significant intervention from the Scottish Government.

“We have been working closely with the minister and her team, as well as Zero Waste Scotland, to agree an approach.

“Crucially, the guidance includes the introduction of a new Return Point Mapping and Exemption Support service to help retailers identify alternative return points without having to share commercially sensitive information with other retailers,” he said.

Harris said the new guidance will make the process of applying for exemptions clearer, easier and quicker for retailers, and will reduce the operational burden for smaller retail outlets.

He added that the likely change in the number and profile of return points is expected to reduce vehicle miles for collection and contribute to a significantly more environmentally efficient scheme.

Referring to the update from the minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, Lorna Slater, Harris said: “We welcome the minister’s indication that she is considering industry’s concerns around online takeback and her commitment to provide further detail on this in the coming weeks.”

The scheme is set to go live on 16 August 2023 and Harris continued: “With less than a year to go until DRS is introduced, these developments are just one element of how we are actively working with industry, government and all stakeholders to deliver a scheme that will work for Scotland, will transform how we recycle in this country and will help preserve our environment for generations to come.”

Since being incorporated in 2021, Circularity Scotland has raised £100million of funding from a combination of drinks producers, banks and business partners to help establish the Deposit Return Scheme.

The company now employs almost 50 staff in Glasgow and said that the wider deposit return scheme will create in the region of 500 jobs.

Harris said: “The scale of investment demonstrates the commitment of Circularity Scotland and its partners to delivering a successful and cost-effective scheme.”