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SWA Highlights Limitations of New Deposit Return Scheme

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SWA Highlights Limitations of New Deposit Return Scheme

September 02
22:23 2019

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has shared the concerns of British Glass in an open letter to the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform around the inclusion of glass within the Scottish deposit return scheme (DRS).

Chief executive, Colin Smith (pictured left), commented: ‘We have consistently opposed the inclusion of glass [in the DRS] as it would add to costs, health and safety concerns and logistical complexity for a disproportionate benefit in terms of recycling rates.

Highlighting the flaws: SWA CEO, Colin Smith

‘If glass is included, wholesalers will see double the value of beverage containers they supply being captured by DRS. This will significantly increase cash flow issues with the deposits being paid out upfront for all soft drinks and alcohol, while wholesalers importing wine and spirits will be particularly badly affected.

‘The additional costs will inevitably flow through to retailers and to Scottish consumers who will be expected to pay more for their drinks.’

The letter, addressed to the Scottish Government’s Roseanna Cunningham, listed other concerns faced by retailers: ‘We at the SWA are concerned that a Scotland-only DRS will create a beverage trade border between Scotland and England,  leading to a restriction on free trade, a need for Scotland-only SKUs, increased warehousing, ICT changes and more complex trading logistics. We also believe the commencement date of spring 2021 is unachieveble and the Scottish Government should take time to learn the lessons from the rushed Track and Trace implementation on tobacco.’

As part of the Implementation Advisory Group (IAG), the SWA has been working with the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland and supply chain partners to help deliver an effective, efficient DRS which increases recycling rates and reduces the amount of waste in landfill.

A report highlighting the significant negative impact of a Scotland-only DRS on the wholesale and food and drinks distribution industry will be released in due course,’ added Smith.

‘In the meantime, the Scottish Government can reduce the burden on wholesalers and achieve their environmental aims by dropping glass for the DRS.’




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Catering Scotland

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