You are currently viewing Drinks producers warn of ‘impending catastrophic impact’ of DRS

More than 500 business leaders have signed an open letter to Lorna Slater, the minister responsible for the Deposit Return Scheme.

The letter warns of the “impending catastrophic impact the scheme will impose on both businesses and consumers”, as it called for deposit return to be “paused, revised and rewritten”.

The letter has been signed by representatives from distillers including the Kingsbarns Distillery, Linlithgow Distillery, Orkney Distilling Ltd, Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd, the Dornoch Distillery, the North Uist Distillery, Kilchoman Distillery on Islay, and the Summerhall Distillery Ltd.

Senior figures from the Kelburn Brewery, Innis and Gunn, Arran Brewery, Cromarty Brewing Co, Williams Bros Brewing Co, and the Highland Brewing Company have also put their names to it.

In addition, the letter has been signed by representatives from the Scottish Hospitality Group, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, and the Scottish B&B Association, Punch Pubs & Co, the Crieff Hydro, and Virgin Wines.

Meanwhile, some firms based elsewhere in the UK, who sell in Scotland, have also signed the letter.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government told STV: “The deposit return scheme is an example of producer responsibility and, rightly, places the cost burden on producers to deal with the bottles and cans they place on the market at end-of-life. Similar schemes have already proven successful in many European countries and we are confident that ours will deliver similar results.

“In line with the polluter pays principle, and just like similar schemes around the world, Scotland’s deposit return scheme is being delivered by industry. The scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland, is an industry-led body, representing drinks producers, retailers and trade bodies.

“They are responsible for operating the scheme and for setting producer fees. The Scottish Government is engaging with Circularity Scotland and industry representatives to understand and work through any concerns that emerge as the scheme is implemented.”

Last week the government issued new guidance on the return point exemptions process following engagement and feedback from business. The scheme is due to go live in August 2023.