Views sought on Deposit Return Scheme


THE views of Scottish pub and bar operators are being sought as a cross-party group of MSPs launches an inquiry into the upcoming Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The scheme, due to go live in August 2023, will require hospitality businesses and retailers to return bottles and cans for recycling.

The Cross-Party Group on Beer and Pubs, which was formed earlier this year, is looking for written evidence from businesses, individuals and organisations about the impact they expect the scheme to have.

In particular, the group wants to learn about: the impact of the scheme on brewers, pubs, consumers and the environment; the preparedness of the sector to meet the launch date next year; and the steps that need to be taken in the next 12 months to prepare for a successful launch.

Craig Hoy MSP, convenor of the group, said: “Scotland is planning on introducing one of the most environmentally ambitious Deposit Return Schemes yet, involving tens of thousands of producers and retailers, all in 16 months’ time.

“While welcoming its ambitions, we’re aware that significant changes will need to be made – to systems, to practices and to behaviour – that may come at a cost. For Scotland’s brewing and pubs sector in particular, this timing may be problematic as they’re already facing a wall of inflationary and energy related pressures while fighting back from COVID.

“We’re holding this inquiry to help us understand what needs to happen to make the scheme a success for all.”

Any written evidence should be submitted to by Friday 7th May. There will also be an oral evidence session in May when a panel of MSPs will hear from expert witnesses.