Ewing: DRS is a ‘disaster’

Veteran SNP politician calls for delay of scheme ‘before it becomes a catastrophe’

Ewing addressing the Scottish Parliament on 9th February.

THE upcoming Deposit Return Scheme has come under fire from within the SNP itself with party veteran Fergus Ewing calling it a ‘disaster of a scheme’.

Speaking at first minister’s questions yesterday (9th February) the former tourism minister referred to ‘reports that 600 drinks producers are concerned about the impact on their businesses, and the survival of them, in relation to the Deposit Return Scheme’.

“Many of the 600 businesses that I referred to are in a state of fear and even despair,” said Ewing.

“Some will close, some will fail and others will no longer sell their produce in their own country of Scotland. Unless it is halted now, the scheme – most businesses believe it to be fatally flawed – will damage Scotland’s reputation as a place to do business.

“Will the first minister therefore instruct a pause of this disaster of a scheme before it becomes a catastrophe, and will she order a thorough and independent review of how better to achieve its aims and exclude glass from the scope, as the top six nations in the world on glass recycling have done?”

Sturgeon responded that the Scottish Government ‘will continue to listen to and engage with businesses’ and indicated that the administration was looking into ways to reduce the impact on smaller producers.

“One of the issues that I am particularly concerned to consider further is whether there is yet more that we can do to reduce any impact on small producers, because some of the concerns that have been raised there are not unreasonable,” said Sturgeon.

“We will continue to take a responsible approach, listen to the concerns of business, and respond responsibly in the face of those.”