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by Louise Wilson
20 June 2023
Lorna Slater confirms administrators called in for DRS body

Lorna Slater is facing a motion of no confidence on Tuesday evening

Lorna Slater confirms administrators called in for DRS body

Circularity Scotland, the company set up to administer the deposit return scheme (DRS), has gone into administration, Lorna Slater has confirmed.

The circular economy minister said it was an “unforgivable consequence” of the UK Government’s decision to grant only a partial exemption to the Internal Market Act for the scheme to go ahead.

Slater, one of the two Green ministers, said this had “undermined” the DRS and was now putting jobs at risk.

It follows the news last week that trade bodies had withdrawn support for Circularity Scotland (CSL), a not-of-profit organisation which had been established to  handle the financial and logistical aspects of the DRS.

Staff were sent home last Thursday and a spokesperson said the company was “not able to confirm whether our staff will be paid for this month or whether they will be able to return to the office”.

Speaking in Holyrood, Slater said: “We have learned today that a process is underway to appoint administrators to CSL, leaving their staff in an extremely difficult position.

“This is an unforgivable consequence of the UK Government’s 11th-hour intervention which undermined our deposit return scheme, made progress impossible and is now resulting in these jobs being lost.”

The minister accused the UK Government of not working in “good faith” and that she had repeatedly warned counterparts this may happen.

She said the partial exemption to the Internal Market Act offered – which would have brought the Scottish scheme more into line with the scheme planned for the rest of the UK from October 2025 – placed “unreasonable conditions” on the scheme, which would have made it “impossible” to launch next year.

She added: “This is not two governments not working together; this is us working very hard and the UK Government torpedoing us.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross – whose party is bringing forward a motion of no confidence in Slater today – said: “People are at risk of losing their jobs, and millions of pounds of investment could be lost due to Lorna Slater's deposit return scheme failures.”

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