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Last Week (13th May), the regulations for a deposit return scheme was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

From July 2022, consumers will have to pay a 20p deposit on single-use drink containers made from PET plasic, steel aluminium or glass, which they will then get back when they return the container to their local shop or other return policies.

The NFRN, ACS and SGF have worked closely with the Scottish Government to develop the scheme to ensure it works for small shops and have welcomed their decision to amend the regulations to include a new exemption for return points. Regulations now allow exemption where it is not possible or reasonable to operate a return point on a retail premises without there being significant risk where the retailer would be breaching legal requirements including food safety, health and safety and fire safety.

Responding to a joint letter from trade bodies about the impact of a deposit return scheme on local shops, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, reiterated that Scottish Government’s position that the scheme would be cost neutral for retailers that will operate return points. However, it will be up to the scheme administrator to determine how much retailers will be compensated for their role in taking back the containers.

Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) National President Stuart Reddish said “With the passing of the regulations by the Scottish Parliament it is now important that progress is made in delivering a robust scheme that works for retailers and customers alike”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government has taken the concerns of local shops into consideration with regards to the regulations for implementing a scheme. This is only the beginning of a long and complex journey, and we are committed to working with the Scottish Government and the scheme administrator to deliver a workable scheme.“

SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema OBE said: “We are now moving into the next phase of DRS and the response from industry will be crucial. We remain concerned about the impact of the current COVID crisis on businesses and their ability to plan for and invest in the scheme. However, we look forward to working with the scheme administrator once it is formed and indeed would welcome the opportunity to be part of it.”

The regulations are available here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/sdsi/2020/9780111044681

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