Circularity Scotland (CSL) has announced £22m of cashflow support measures to help Scotland’s brewers, distillers, importers and drinks manufacturers prepare for the deposit return scheme.
The support package is particularly designed to help SMEs, who have previously voiced concerns about the impact of the scheme on their cashflow.
To address these concerns, Circularity Scotland is removing the day one and month one charges for all producers, up to a threshold of three million units per year. It is also providing two-month credit terms on deposits and fees up to the same volume threshold to reduce the working capital impact on all producers.
The three-million-unit threshold is designed to ensure that small producers selling in Scotland benefit more proportionately from the support. This should help companies like craft brewers, wine importers and craft spirit producers in particular. The two-month credit terms will be available to all producers, regardless of their size.
There’s more good news for small producers who sell fewer than 25,000 units of any one product in Scotland: they now have the option of using self-adhesive barcode labels and won’t need to go to the expense and bother of producing Scotland-specific packaging.
Circularity Scotland boss David Harris (pictured) said the measures provided further evidence of how CSL is continuing to find additional ways to reduce the pressure on businesses.
He added: “We have already announced reductions in producer fees of up to 40%, while also being able to offer the highest return handling fees of comparable schemes anywhere in the world. These additional support measures further demonstrate our confidence in being able to deliver ongoing operational efficiencies once the scheme has gone live.”
Harris said CSL was committed to ensuring the deposit return scheme is cost effective for business.
Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said the move gave businesses the “clarity and confidence” they need to be part of the deposit return scheme: “It addresses initial cash flow challenges and provides a pragmatic and simple solution to the issues raised around barcodes for smaller product lines.”
The SWA (Scottish Wholesale Association) welcomed the announcement, although it warned there were still “many concerns” around price-marked packs, GS1 compliant barcodes, bonded warehouses and other issues.
A spokesperson said: “SWA will continue to push for an 18-month grace period to allow those small producers/importers to prepare for DRS as well as for a de minimis exemption for low volume products.”
The SWA also called for the 28 February registration deadline for producers and importers to be “shelved in writing” by the Scottish Government to give businesses the confidence to keep trading in Scotland.
For more information on the measures or to register for the scheme, contact Circularity Scotland’s customer support team at circularityscotland.com or on 0141 401 0899.