SWA ‘bitterly disappointed’ as DRS is given green light

The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has said it is ‘bitterly disappointed’ after MSPs voted to pass deposit return scheme (DRS) regulations

It had previously called to halt the DRS ahead of the final vote due to the industry struggling through the coronavirus crisis, instead asking for it to be delayed until some form of normality had occurred.

Read more: SWA urges members to apply for Government funding

Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said: “Scotland’s food and drink wholesalers will be bitterly disappointed that the DRS regulations have been passed by Parliament rather than being halted and revisited after Covid-19 disruption has dissipated.

“This is meant to be an evidence-based policy but the evidence on which it is built – container numbers, return points, queueing spaces, online food shopping – will have fundamentally changed as business exits Covid-19.

“Wholesalers and others in food and drink are already under intense pressure with some businesses fighting for their very survival – there will be no time or money to spend trying to assist the Scottish Government or a still-to-be formed Scheme Administrator to set up the DRS,” he added.

Smith pointed out that while the revised July 2022 “go live” date announced in March was welcome, it “pre-dates Covid-19 and still needs manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to start planning now but no-one will”.

Read more: Scottish wholesalers urged to share coronavirus insight to SWA

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Paul Hill
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. Paul can be found on Twitter on @BW_PaulHill, or can be contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 020 7689 3376.

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