Update: Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme delayed until October 2025

Update (7 June): Deposit Return Scheme delayed until October 2025

Despite having already delayed the DRS until 2024, on the 7 June, the government announced a further delay, with the Scottish DRS now not going live until October 2025 at the earliest. 

This second announcement this year, comes after the UK Government declined a request for full exclusion from the Internal Market Act. 

(18 April) Deposit Return Scheme delayed until 1 March 2024

The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) aims to support in tackling climate change, through improving recycling rates, reducing litter and changing the throw away culture we have come to possess, ultimately helping to protect our environment for generations to come.

A DRS works by charging anyone who buys a drink a small deposit (20p) for the bottle or can that it comes in. They get this money back when they return the bottle or can to a collection point to be recycled.

On the 18 April, Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf announced Scotland’s DRS will now take effect on 1 March 2024, 7 months later than planned (16 August 2023). However, this is the not the first time the Scottish implementation has been pushed back, with the initial implementation date set for April 2021, followed by July 2022.

It is known that concerns have been raised by business groups over recent months, highlighting the additional costs and practical difficulties involved in implementing the scheme in time for the August deadline and excluding the DRS from scope of the UK Internal Market Act, was also a key factor in the decision to delay implementation. Considering this, many have positively reacted to the delay, expressing a sense of relief that many of the flaws encountered can now be ironed out.

However, the environment suffers a huge blow in response to the delay, as the scheme will have been delayed by almost three years from its original start date of April 2021.

The Scottish Government, since the announcement, have expressed their commitment to the DRS and its implementation for 1 March 2024. They also commit to iron out any financial and operational concerns in advance of this date.

We expect to see the England, N Ireland and Wales follow suit, with implementation planned for October 2025.

Should you have any question on DRS across the Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, please do get in touch with our team on solutions@beyond.ly