Thank you for contacting me about the delay in rolling out the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland.
The Scottish Conservatives recognise the climate emergency and the need to reduce our impact on the environment. We believe that a circular economy and DRS are part of the solution and fully support the implementation of a DRS in Scotland.
Deposit Return Schemes can increase the amount of disposable drinks containers being returned for recycling and help tackle litter for those items. I would like to see a well-designed, accessible and fair DRS that operates throughout the United Kingdom and offers benefits in terms of consumer behaviour change and jobs in reprocessing and the manufacture of DRS machines, which we believe should be carried out in Scotland.
However, we are still facing a global health pandemic and the impact of COVID-19 on individuals, businesses and everyday life has been significant.
I recognise this is a very difficult time for businesses and understand that, in order to make the DRS a success, we will need their support. For this reason, I support the decision to delay the roll out of the scheme until July 2022.
I believe in the highest environmental standards in order to tackle climate change, and whilst I understand people’s frustration with further delays to this scheme, it is important to recognise we are in the middle of a pandemic and our focus must be solely on this.
Thank you again for getting in touch.