Deposit Return Scheme – gateway review: report – June 2021

This is an evidence-based snapshot of the status of the Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) for Scotland programme carried out by an independent review team on 14-16 June 2021. It was performed as part of the Scottish Government’s review into the implementation timetable for DRS.

4.0 Background

4.1 Aims of the Programme:

4.1.1. The DRS Programme's aim is to design and implement a DRS for Scotland as part of a wider Extended Producer Responsibility landscape. This followed SG's commitment to introduce such a scheme in the 17-18 Programme for Government "A Nation with Ambition". The Scheme has been tailored to meet Scotland's particular needs, and with the specific outcomes of increasing recycling rates and recyclate quality, achieving behaviour change such as reducing littering, and maximising the economic and social benefits from introducing the Scheme.

4.2 Driving force for the Programme:

4.2.1 The Scheme is underpinned by a number of SG strategies and legislation including National Outcomes 12 and 14, the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, and the Climate Change Plan, Third RPP; the Scheme is also aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals. When operational, the Scheme will collect "single use" drinks containers and not "refillable" containers.

4.3 Procurement/delivery status:

4.3.1 The Programme to design and implement a DRS for Scotland commenced in September 2017. Following extensive public consultation and industry engagement through an Implementation Advisory Group, a scheme design and Full Business Case, Phase 1, were developed, receiving Cabinet approval prior to public announcement on 08 May 2019. Legislation to establish the Scheme was laid down in The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which was passed by Parliament on 13 May 2020. DRS is an example of extended producer responsibility, and the Regulations therefore place obligations on drinks producers for the management and collection of containers covered by the scheme, which includes meeting a collection target of 90% of containers by year 3. The Regulations allow producers to establish a scheme administrator to meet the obligations on their behalf. In March 2021 an application was received from Circularity Scotland Limited (CSL) to be approved as the centrally important Scheme Administrator (SA). Following a managed assessment process, CSL's application received formal ministerial approval on the 24th March 2021. Currently, the Regulations require DRS 'producers' to be registered with SEPA by 01 March 2022 and that DRS should be fully operating (go-live) by 01 July 2022.

4.4 Current position regarding previous assurance reviews:

4.4.1 Gateway Reviews were previously carried out on the 25th - 27th March 2019, and the 19-21 November 2019.



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