Applications open for DRS exemptions

Empty bottles and cans

Zero Waste Scotland is now accepting applications from retailers who wish to be exempt from collecting empty single-use drinks containers when the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) launches in Scotland on 1 July 2022.

There are two exemption criteria:

  1. Proximity to an ‘alternative return point’ where another retail premises agrees to take back your containers. SGF is working with key stakeholders to develop a process for retailers to connect with and get agreement on container take-back from alternative return points.
  2. Food safety/hygiene, where taking back containers means that you would be unable to meet food safety standards.

There is no time limit on applying for an exemption, it can be done any time between now and July 2022. SGF advice is that there is no need to apply now – between July 2021 and October 2021 is likely to be the best time.

The SGF, which successfully lobbied the Scottish government for a system to permit exemptions from the DRS regulations, is now working with the ACS to provide detailed guidance and advice.

However, there is a great deal of important information which is simply not available at the moment e.g. frequency of collection, the final handling fees etc. This will not be available until the scheme administrator is operational.

SGF is currently in the process of becoming a founder member of the scheme administrator.