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The Fed has welcomed the news that sustainable waste management company Biffa will be the official logistics provider for Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS).

This appointment was announced this week by Circularity Scotland Ltd, the not-for-profit scheme administrator.

Welcoming this, Fed deputy vice president Shahid Razzaq, who has a shop in Glasgow, said: “This is very good news.  The Fed has been a long-time supporter of DRS – in fact, we were the first trade association to support its introduction in Scotland.

“The appointment of Biffa as the official logistics provider is another significant step in the development of DRS.

“We already have a good relationship with Biffa, with Kelly Lock updating delegates on the latest news about DRS at our Annual Conference last month.

“We look forward to hearing Biffa’s ideas on how it will plan to pick up returns.  Ideally, these will be collected the next day.”

The new agreement will see Biffa take responsibility for the crucial work of collecting billions of drinks bottles and cans from return points across the length and breadth of Scotland each year, as well as managing the bulking and counting centres that will process material for recycling.

From August 2023 all drinks producers and everyone selling single-use drinks containers is required to take part in the DRS. A refundable 20p deposit will apply to all single-use PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass drinks containers ranging in size from 50ml up to three-litre containers.

Circularity Scotland chief executive officer David Harris said: “The DRS scheme is a key part of Scotland’s move to a circular economy. It is one of the most significant environmental infrastructure projects ever introduced in the UK and the most comprehensive deposit return scheme anywhere in the world. As scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland is working at pace to ensure that the scheme runs effectively and efficiently, and at as low a cost as possible, from August 2023.”

He added that Biffa’s ‘unparalleled expertise’ in supporting large scale and complex recycling schemes would help in capturing and recycling at least 90 per cent of drinks containers made from PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass.

Biffa chief executive officer Michael Topham said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to provide logistics, sorting and counting services for Scotland’s landmark Deposit Return Scheme. This appointment is testament to the strength of Biffa’s reputation as a sustainable waste management provider to complex markets, our extensive capabilities and world leading recycling infrastructure.”


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