Scotland's bottle return scheme delayed

20 September 2022

Skye Climate Action's latest newsletter draws attention to the delay in the introduction of Scotland's bottle return scheme, originally planned for August this year but put back some months ago to August 2023.

The government's press release of December 2021 fails to mention the postponement or the original date, and still tries to represent the scheme as a ground-breaking initiative.  It blames the Covid crisis and Brexit for the delay, while understandably furious environmental groups point to intense lobbying by drinks manufacturers and big retailers.

Lack of enthusiasm for the scheme from those who would be expected to help operate it may be a contributory cause of the delay.  As at July this year no applications had been received to set up any of the 500 collection points that Zero Waste Scotland had estimated would be required.

John Mayhew, the director of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, said

"This is a sad day for Scotland’s environment.  The Scottish government’s flagship waste reduction programme lies essentially scuttled beneath the waves, sunk by a combination of intense industry lobbying and a lack of political will.”

Media comment

The Guardian  Severin Carrell Scotland editor  14 December 2021

The Herald     Andrew Learmonth  25 July 2022

STV News      James Delaney    16 August 2022


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