Small businesses might offer a grace period for their bottle return policy

Slater, Lorna

The Scottish bottle return program may not require immediate compliance from small businesses, according to the minister for the circular economy.

The BBC was informed by Lorna Slater that she was "actively considering" a grace period.

Candidates for the SNP leadership have now stated that they would suggest modifications to the August-launching program.

By imposing a 20p deposit on single-use beverage bottles and cans, it aims to increase recycling.

Critics claim that the deposit return scheme will increase consumer pressure while posing significant costs and risks for businesses.

Any plan had to "work for all of Scotland," according to Kate Forbes, who spoke with the Scottish Mail on Sunday.

"We need to figure out why businesses are upset and how to modify the plan. and then present a plan that actually achieves its objectives," she said.

recycling Denmark
In every supermarket in Denmark, automatic recycling machines like this one are present.

In the meantime, if elected first minister, health secretary Humza Yousaf told Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday that he would exclude small businesses for the first year of operation.

The big producers are what we should be focusing on, he said, not the craft breweries or the craft gin makers.

We can't have the tail wagging the dog," Ash Regan said on The Sunday Show in reference to the SNP's coalition with the Scottish Greens.

"Since the SNP received 46% of the vote in the most recent election and the Greens only received 4%, we cannot be held hostage by that circumstance. ".

Ms. Slater explained to the BBC's The Sunday Show that Mr. Yousaf was making reference to a grace period that she was currently negotiating.

Prior to the sign-up deadline on February 28, she claimed to have spoken with businesses about their worries, but added that the program was "definitely going ahead.".

The first is signing up with the administrator of the scheme, and the deadline for that is this Tuesday, according to Ms. Slater. The registration procedure is as stated.

"We will then work with small producers moving forward to bring them into the scheme in a realistic way that works for them with regard to actively getting their product on the shelf and making sure the labeling is correct and so forth. Those are two different due dates. ".

Recently, the organization in charge of managing the program, Circularity Scotland, announced a £22 million cashflow support program to exempt some businesses from upfront fees.

However, Dougal Sharp, the founder of the Scottish brewer Innis and Gunn, claimed that there were still many unresolved issues, leaving businesses to make a "devil's choice.".

When asked what would happen if he didn't join the program, he responded that their business would suffer because they wouldn't be able to sell in Scotland.

"If you step back from this and consider the huge risks that the entire scheme is placing on consumers through massive cost inflation, enormous behavioral changes, and complexity, and then of course for businesses - the significant costs and risks associated with the scheme," he said.

"We're urging a quick pause and reevaluation of the situation. ".

Dougal Sharp
According to Dougal Sharp, who spoke to the BBC, the plan needs to be stopped right away.

Regarding a potential grace period for smaller businesses, Mr. Sharp stated that there are many different sizes of businesses and "almost all of them" would be required to contribute to the scheme's cost if it did not go into effect as expected.

He also mentioned issues that customers might run into, like long lines at return locations.

The consumer will need to return this money, he said. Budgets are tight; we are aware of the pressure consumers face with regard to household spending. The consumer is under increased pressure and has significant obligations as a result. ".

Maurice Golden, a Scottish Conservative MSP, referred to Ms. Slater's decision to consider a grace period for small businesses as "mind-boggling" given how close Tuesday's deadline was.

Additionally, he claimed that the minister was unable to specify what would qualify as a small producer.

Liam McArthur, the climate emergency spokesman for the Scottish Lib Dems, urged the Scottish government to halt the program.

We cannot expect businesses to join such a program when there is still such a severe lack of clarity, he continued.

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