Retailers looking at initial £40m DRS bill

Empty bottles and cans

Retailers in Scotland will face start-up costs of at least £40.7m if a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is introduced.

The eye-watering figure was arrived at by ‘scaling down’ for Scotland the set-up costs of the deposit return scheme in Germany. The German scheme had start-up costs for retailers of over 720 million Euros.

The Scottish government environment agency Zero Waste Scotland made the calculation as part of an evidence gathering exercise into the potential impact of a DRS in Scotland.

SGF Head of Public Affairs Dr John Lee said there was simply no way that independent retailers in Scotland could or should have to meet these costs.

“There are already huge cost pressures on retailers and this would threaten the viability of most independent stores,” added Lee. “The potential cost to retailers is reason enough for this idea to be scrapped now.”

The exercise also showed that the impact on changing consumer behaviour in terms of recycling and littering is likely to be marginal.

The Scottish government has indicated that it will ask Zero Waste Scotland to undertake further modelling on different deposit return systems.