The deposit return program "will proceed in August."

Slater, Lorna

Despite producer concerns, Scotland's bottle return program will launch in August, according to the circular economy minister.

Additionally, Lorna Slater urged companies to join the initiative before the month was out.

The program aims to increase recycling by requiring a 20p deposit for single-use beverage bottles and cans.

However, industry critics worry that it will stifle trade, drive up costs, and limit options.

When asked if it would launch on August 16 despite all the cautions and criticism, Ms. Slater responded, "Absolutely. The deposit return program in Scotland is currently operational.

"Our program is very comparable to other successful programs around the world that, in addition to increasing recycling as you mentioned, also do that really crucial thing to reduce litter on our streets.

"Everyone has seen bottles, cans, and broken glass. The deposit return program is our response to the need to take action. ".

The program, according to Ms. Slater, has already been postponed to give businesses more time to recover from the pandemic.

She also emphasized that the discussions to date had decreased producer costs and solved a VAT dispute with the UK government.

The minister continued, "I am aware that there are still some unresolved issues from small producers and importers in particular, which I take very seriously, and we are also working on solutions to those issues. ".

The "really exciting scheme," according to Ms. Slater, shifted accountability for litter from the taxpayer to the producers.

Lorna Slater
Lorna Slater, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens, spoke before the party's autumn conference this coming weekend.

Chris Jones of the beverage company Paragon Brands earlier expressed concerns about the fact that a company expecting, say, sales of 10,000 units would be invoiced £2,000 to cover the recycling costs.

According to him, producers in Australia are billed retroactively six weeks after their products are sold.

Mr. Jones raised concerns about the project's inclusion of glass given that the nation already has a "very successful glass recycling scheme" through his company, which imports brands for 12 nations worldwide.

And he cautioned that the increased costs of producing labels with new barcodes for the Scottish market could result in a 40 percent reduction in the variety of products available to consumers in the craft beer sector.

Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, urged the Scottish government to reconsider its key recycling initiative on Sunday.

Ministers, according to Mr. Jack, should think about holding off until the rest of the UK adopts a unified strategy.

He claimed in an interview with the Scottish Mail on Sunday that a UK-wide program, scheduled to begin in 2025, would maximize environmental benefits while causing the least amount of disruption to the drinks industry.

The Welsh government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland will work together to launch the UK government's initiative.

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

If the deposit return scheme is implemented in the summer, Scotland would be the first country in the UK to do so.

Plans were first presented by the Scottish government in 2017, who claimed they represented "a step change in our level of ambition" for recycling.

The government cited the Covid pandemic as the reason it was postponed to July 2022, then again to August of this year.

Critics in the beverage industry worry that the program, which would force businesses to raise their prices north of the border, could obstruct trade between Scotland and England.

A review of the program by the Scottish government in December revealed that many problems "remain to be resolved" and that a "fully operational program cannot be in place by August.".

The program is managed by Circularity Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland assisted in its conception and provided implementation advice, and Sepa is the program's regulatory body.

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