MSPs report on DRS regs

Scottish Parliament

The Holyrood committee overseeing the implementation of DRS has published a report on proposed draft regulations for the scheme.

The full report runs to 83 pages.

In it, the committee considers that the ambition to have the Scheme operational within 12 months of passing the Regulations may be challenging in practice.

Despite industry calls for glass to be introduced to the scheme after an initial ‘bedding-in’ period for plastic and metal – or even excluded entirely – it is the committee’s view that the scheme should be as comprehensive as possible and retrofitting glass at a later date would be “challenging”.

The committee encouraged the Scottish Government to work closely with the glass industry to address concerns in the development of the scheme. It also asked the Scottish Government to clarify how the glass industry will be represented on the Implementation Advisory Group or on other working groups.

The report also questions the flat rate 20p deposit. The committee thought there should be scope for the Scheme Administrator to set a variable rate, for example based on product size. Concerns have been raised that consumers – to keep outlay on deposits as low as possible – may start buying sugary drinks in larger formats rather than multi-packs, or switch to buying a bottle of spirits rather than cans of beer for the same reason.

Before laying the final Draft Regulations, the committee asked the Scottish Government to provide a forecast of when DRS is likely to be operational and what key actions need to happen in order for that deadline to be met e.g. time-frames for setting up the Scheme Administrator; development of labelling/identification and IT systems; any new infrastructure (with associated planning/consents) including reverse vending machines and counting centres; and developing enforcement and monitoring mechanisms.