Time is ticking on DRS deadline

Yousaf gives the PM until the end of the day to include glass in the deposit return scheme.

A large pile of empty glass bottles
Humza Yousaf has given the UK Government until the end of the day to include glass as part of DRS or the scheme may not run.

Humza Yousaf has given the Prime Minister until the end of the day to allow glass to be included under Scotland’s incoming deposit return scheme.

The first minister sent a letter to Rishi Sunak on Friday offering an ultimatum to the prime minister that the scheme would not go ahead unless glass were to be included. A final decision will be made on the matter when the Scottish Parliament meets tomorrow.

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Keith Brown, depute leader of the SNP, said: “We know action has got to be taken. It reduces the effectiveness of the scheme by a third if you take out glass, so let’s just get some common sense on the table.”

UK Ministers proposed to remove glass from the scheme as part of an exemption from the Internal Markets Act, aligning Scotland’s deposit return scheme with the incoming UK-wide one which is set to launch in 2025.

Scottish secretary Alister Jack claimed that the decision to remove glass comes after business leaders and producers wrote to him expressing their concerns over the scheme.

“It’s those concerns that we’ve taken into account when we’ve come to our conclusion because we believe the deposit charge should be the same and reciprocated across the UK,” he said.

And industry leaders in the Scottish convenience channel have also welcomed this exemption from the UK Government, with Colin Smith, chief executive of the Scottish Wholesale Association, calling it a “positive move in delivery of a successful Scottish DRS.”

He said: “We have argued for several years that a UK-wide approach made more sense and that including glass increased costs and complexity.

“Glass inclusion is currently the main difference between the Scottish and English schemes so it represents a major change.

“This move will be particularly welcomed by licensed wholesalers who are wine and spirits importers and treated as producers under DRS regulations.”