The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has welcomed a report from the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee which recognises that wholesalers should be part of a DRS scheme administration board.
SWA chief executive Colin Smith recently presented to a committee and demanded that the wholesale channel be represented on the board, which currently includes only retailers, manufacturers and producers.
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This has now been reflected in the report, with the ECCLR recognising that the scheme is “cost neutral” for wholesalers despite the original proposals envisaging the scheme being cost neutral for retailers only.
Titled ‘The Report on the proposed draft Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020’, it made a number of concessions to the wholesale channel, with Smith saying that it makes for exceptionally positive reading for the channel and vindicates the work that SWA has done to represent its members.
“The recommendation that the scheme be cost neutral for wholesalers, as well as retailers, is hugely important for our sector,” he said. “As is the recommendation that wholesalers, along with other industry representatives and trade bodies, should be represented within the scheme administrator and play an active role in its governance.”
“The ECCLR’s report has certainly listened to the SWA and the voices of our members. They have recognised the challenging timescale as well as many of the complexities that remain unanswered and for which the scheme administrator will be left to find solutions. I sincerely hope that the Scottish Government takes on board the Committee’s recommendations and SWA looks forward to working with them to find a mechanism that ensures wholesalers are indeed cost neutral,” he added.
James Bielby, chief executive of sister organisation the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), commented: “We support the recommendation that any DRS should be cost neutral to wholesalers and agree that wholesalers must be involved in the scheme’s implementation. The FWD will be working closely with SWA to ensure this happens and to highlight the impact of DRS in Scotland on the wider UK wholesale industry.”