On your behalf, SCC has been actively campaigning and representing member views on a range of Scottish Government regulations. This update focuses on the Deposit Return Scheme and the Alcohol Advertising & Promotions Consultation.
Deposit Return Scheme:
Since SCC have been raising the business voice on this matter, they have achieved the following:
- Implementation date: Secured a delay to the original implementation date of the scheme in 2022.
- Reduced producer fees: Circularity Scotland has published significantly reduced producer fees and Day 1 payments. The changes mean producer fees will be 8%, 30% and 40% lower for glass, PET plastic and metal containers respectively. The Day 1 payments for producers using UK-wide barcodes will also be reduced by two thirds, from 2.4 months of fees to 3 weeks of fees.
- Online takeback: Initially only the largest grocery supermarkets will be obliged to provide a takeback service; all other businesses will be exempt.
However, the Scottish Government is focused on continuing to implement the legislation despite concerns from the business community.
They issued a letter to the Minister responsible for this policy (Lorna Slater MSP) on Monday 30th January 2023 with the following actions:
- A delay to the implementation of the scheme, to align with the rest of the UK. This would allow more time for businesses to prepare, issues with the scheme to be ironed out and ensure that Scottish businesses aren’t competitively disadvantaged.
- Undertake further consultation with sectors affected to ensure that the scheme is workable for both businesses and consumers as well as being cost effective for business.
- Rework the scheme so that it supports SMEs with the costs and resources that they would require to manually handle returns and source empties, as well as address safety concerns around potential breakages.
- With an implementation date of 2025 in mind and once necessary changes have been made to the scheme: undergo a focused and targeted programme of engagement with stakeholders to ensure business readiness.
- Reconsider the inclusion of glass in the DRS, especially considering that it won’t be included in the r/UK DRS.
In addition, SCC has shared these concerns directly with the Director-General for the Economy and will continue to raise these issues through other Ministerial Forums such as the Joint Regulatory Taskforce.
Restricting Alcohol Advertising & Promotions Consultation: (closes 9th March 2023, click for consultation page):
A part of SCC’s policy approach is to reduce the amount of regulation on Scottish businesses. As such, SCC has raised this matter with senior Scottish Government officials, specifically requesting that the consultation is paused immediately. They cited this would be a “signal of intent” by the Scottish Government that it was listening to the business community and would help to ease the burden on businesses during this economic climate.
On the basis that the consultation proceeds, SCC is continuing to prepare our response to it, specifically focusing on impacts on the drinks industry domestically and exporting potential as well as divergence between Scotland and rest of the UK.
SCC is working in partnership with other business associations including the Scotch Whisky Association to ensure a joined-up industry approach on this policy area.
If you have specific concerns or matters to raise on this policy issue, please contact us to discuss further.