Deposit return scheme for Scotland: BRIA

Full business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) assessing the regulatory impacts of deposit return for drinks containers for businesses in Scotland.

9.0 Digital Impact Test

239. Changes to policy, regulation or legislation can often have unintended consequences, should government fail to consider advances in technology and the impact this may have on future delivery. This digital impact test is a consideration of whether the changes being made can still be applied effectively should business/government processes change – such as services moving online. The below details the evaluation of the proposed DRS on current and future digital developments. Overall, it is viewed that the proposed DRS will not have an adverse impact on digital technology developments.

Table 18. Digital Impact Test Questionnaire

Question 1. Does the measure take account of changing digital technologies and markets?

Changing digital technologies and markets have been taken into account during the development of the Scottish DRS. Customers remain able to order drinks through online services and reclaim the deposit through both online and traditional retailers. Similarly, online services will not be adversely impacted by the scheme. This is assessed further in the Competition Impact Assessment.

Question 2. Will the measure be applicable in a digital/online context?

A Scottish DRS would apply to both online and offline retailers, as deposits would apply to all drinks containers within the scope of the scheme that enter the Scottish market. Work is ongoing to identify how container take-back arrangements should operate for online retailers.

Question 3. Is there a possibility the measures could be circumvented by digital/online transactions?

The measure could not be circumvented by digital/online transactions, as it is the aim to:

  • Increase the quantity of target materials collected for recycling
  • Improve the quality of material collected, to allow for higher value recycling
  • Encourage wider behaviour change around materials
  • Deliver maximum economic and societal benefits for Scotland

As drinks containers are not only sold by traditional but also by online retailers, the DRS would also need to apply to online transactions in order to serve the original purpose.

Question 4. Alternatively, will the measure only be applicable in a digital context and therefore may have an adverse impact on traditional or offline businesses?

The Scottish DRS would be applicable equally to both digital and traditional businesses and would therefore not result in an adverse impact on traditional or offline businesses.

Question 5. If the measure can be applied in an offline and online environment will this in itself have any adverse impact on incumbent operators?




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