Slater, the minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, announced the delay on 17 November, less than a week after the COP26 conference in Glasgow, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit on key industry groups in charge of delivering the scheme.
Scottish Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The beer and pub sector cautiously welcomed confirmation of a delay.
“Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, it would have been impossible for the scheme to be ready by the previous date of July 2022.
Delay crucial for success
“We all share the ambition of the Scottish Government to reduce emissions, improve recycling and speedily move towards a more circular economy, this delay is crucial in that, the DRS will have massive impact on both brewers and publicans, to ensure a successful roll-out of the scheme, a delay until at least September 2023 is required.”
The recycling initiative, which was due to make Scotland the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme, was designed so consumers would pay a 20p deposit after purchasing a single-use container which would be refunded on return of the empty can or bottle.
UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson, said: “Scotland’s hospitality sector welcomes today’s news of a delay to the introduction of the DRS.
Business are committed
“Given the issues besetting businesses right now, a start date of July 2022 was never going to be achievable, however, we now await confirmation of the timescale the Scottish Government and Circularity Scotland are working to.
“During COP26, UKHospitality hosted a fringe event showcasing sector collaboration and innovation, clearly demonstrating how our businesses are working hard to achieve Net Zero and are already great supporters of the circular economy, delivering, for example, very high rates of recycling.
“Businesses are committed to playing their part in all aspects of environmental sustainability and a delay to the start of DRS until later in 2023 can ensure the scheme works for business, consumers and the environment.”