Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has been given a new go-live date of 16 August 2023, a year after its initial implementation date.
Originally the scheme was due to go live in July 2022, however, it was postponed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revealing the new date in parliament, the Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slater, announced plans for a phased implementation of the scheme, and said the target of achieving 90% collection rates by 2024 will be maintained.
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“Implementing a scheme on this scale is a massive national undertaking involving tens of thousands of producers and retailers. Given the challenges that the pandemic and Brexit have placed upon these businesses, it is disappointing – but understandable – that the independent review concluded the original start date was no longer feasible,” Slater said.
“Despite calls to water down the scheme by removing materials or waiting for other nations to catch up, we have maintained our ambition and ensured that the scheme will still meet its original target of achieving 90% collection rates by 2024.”
Slater also revealed the Scottish government has published a “clear plan” for delivery, with critical milestones on the path to full implementation.
These include use of return points on a voluntary basis by retailers from November 2022.
Zero Waste Scotland Iain Gulland added: “Zero Waste Scotland is proud to have advised on the design of Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, a gamechanger with multiple benefits including reduced carbon emissions, more and better recycling, and the removal of up to one third of the litter from our streets.
“Despite the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic I’m delighted we now have a go-live date for this important scheme, which Zero Waste Scotland will continue to support.”