Scotland re-confirm timeline for Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

Following the Scottish Government’s announcement last month of a delay to the launch of their Deposit Return Scheme, yesterday afternoon (14 December) Scotland Parliament reconfirmed their DRS timeline

Lorna Slater MP (Minister for Green Skill, Circular Economy and Biodiversity) made a statement in parliament that the new proposed start date for Scotland’s DRS is 16th August 2023, and that a final timescale (including for an “All-in” scheme) and project plan has been agreed.

The minister stated that an independent review illustrated July 2022 would not be feasible for DRS launch, however, September 2023 is possible, albeit with high risk.

It was confirmed that the scheme will be in operation voluntarily prior to 2023 and the 90% target collection rate is to be achieved by year 2 of the scheme instead of year 3, as previously set.

Working towards the new 2023 launch date, SEPA are planning a workshop with retailers in early 2022 and there will be various cross stakeholder working / oversight groups to be formed in 2022.

The revised, confirmed timeline for the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme is as follows:

  • March 2022 - Circularity Scotland to sign contracts for logistics of scheme
  • August 2022 - Public awareness campaign launched and counting / sorting centres built
  • Summer 2022 - Infrastructure rollout in stores
  • November 2022 - Fully operational voluntary scheme in stores
  • January 2023 - Producer Registration
  • July 2023 - End to end testing of containers through whole system
  • Sept 2023 – Go-live date

Click here to watch the full ministerial statement on Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (from 14 December 2021).

If you have any queries regarding DRS, please contact our policy team –