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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
31 July 2023
DRS: Circularity Scotland folded with £86m in debts

Sixty-six jobs were also lost when Circularity Scotland collapsed | Alamy

DRS: Circularity Scotland folded with £86m in debts

The firm tasked with administrating Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) folded with £86m worth of debts and liabilities, documents have revealed.  

The not-for-profit company, which was funded by the drinks industry, went into administration in June after the Scottish DRS date was pushed back to October 2025 – aligning with the rest of the UK.  

Documents from Companies House revealed that the firm’s liabilities amounted to over £86m, while assets available for “preferential” creditors are estimated at only £2.1m. Sixty-six jobs were also lost when Circularity Scotland collapsed.  

The Scottish Government had said they did not believe it had any obligation to pay compensation to those drinks firms that had invested in the scheme.  

The documents show that Biffa, who were set to transport the single use containers to recycling plants, is the largest creditor, with a liability of £65m.  

Biffa said: "We continue to review our position and have no further comment at this time."

Another firm, Reverse Logistics are owed £5m, while in June, the Scottish National Investment Bank said it expected “significant losses” on their £9m loan it granted Circularity Scotland for set-up costs.  

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The UK Government’s 11th-hour intervention has left us no choice but to postpone the launch of Scotland’s deposit return scheme and the overwhelming feedback from businesses was they could not prepare for a March 2024 launch.

“We are grateful to businesses for the investment they have made.

“The Scottish Government remains committed to the delivery of a successful deposit return scheme and the investment made to date can be utilised in the future.

“We do not consider that the action we have been required to take gives rise to any obligation to pay compensation.”

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