Thank you for your email on this very important matter.
Scottish Labour supports the principle of a Deposit Returns Scheme but the current SNP-Green Government proposals are so flawed they look set to devastate small businesses while also failing to deliver against the original ambition.
If we are serious about a making this scheme work we need a phased-in approach to address genuine concerns that have been raised, particularly those from small businesses. That is why Scottish Labour have called for grace period for small producers along with exemptions for low volume producers, and an opt-in for small retailers.
The Scottish Government cannot expect to convince small producers who are concerned about cost and cash-flows to sign up to the scandal-hit scheme when then now know their fees will pay extortionate wages to senior executives. The new First Minister has already expressed doubts about the scheme as it stands, and has admitted that not all producers should be included from the beginning. This is due to the Scottish Government’s lack of readiness and preparation, despite so many delays.
This new First Minister is the SNP’s opportunity to fix the gaping holes in the scheme that his predecessor allowed to emerge. We believe it is not too late to develop a scheme that can work as we have seen in other countries– but the SNP-Green Government need to stop stubbornly downplaying genuine concerns and deliver a scheme that works for businesses, consumers, and the environment.
Thanks again for your email.