Humza Yousaf delays the Deposit Return Scheme
Humza Yousaf has announced that the controversial Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will be delayed until 1 March 2024.
The scheme, which aims to increase recycling numbers of single-use drinks containers, has been under fire from businesses and MSPs across the chamber.
DRS was due to come into operation In August, but many businesses raised concerns about how the scheme may impact their operations.
Announcing the seven-month delay, Yousaf told the chamber during a speech laying out his government’s plans for the next three years that he remains “committed to this scheme”, blaming the UK Government for businesses' “uncertainty” following the delay to "the decision to exclude the scheme from the Internal Market Act.”
Yousaf said: “At the same time, I and the Circular Economy Minister have heard the concerns of business, particularly about the scheme’s readiness for launch this August. As a result, we will now delay the launch of the scheme to the 1st of March 2024. This provides ten months for businesses to get ready.
“We will use that additional time to work with businesses, and Circularity Scotland, to address concerns with the scheme and ensure a successful launch next year.”
The first minister also confirmed that proposals to restrict alcohol advertising go “back to the drawing board” in an attempt to “reset” the government’s relationship with business.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "I welcome the First Minister's decision to pause the Scottish Government’s Deposit Return Scheme, given the widespread concerns from businesses.
“We now have an opportunity to continue working together on solutions which deliver for consumers and businesses across the UK, while helping to realise our shared ambition to improve the environment.”
Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe