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Concerns Over the Affect of DRS on Small Businesses.

Nov 15, 2019

Concerns were raised in a recent round table of industry experts, over how Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) will affect small businesses. The Federation of Small Businesses calling for an exemption for retailers whose premises are under 200 square feet in size.

The issue was raised during one of a series of three round tables. With experts and stakeholders hosted by the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, discussing the plans for a DRS in Scotland.

Scotland’s DRS is set to come into force in April 2021 and will see a 20 pence deposit placed on all plastic, glass and metal beverage containers between 50ml and three litres in size. This deposit will then be recouped when the container is returned to the retailer for recycling. Currently, the Scottish Government’s plans will require all retailers, regardless of size, to accept returned containers – known as ‘return to retail’. 

Speaking at the initial round table, Susan Love the Policy Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses called for measures to be put in place to provide support:

“I think generally most businesses will want to provide this service for their community and their customers. It’s just that for some that will find it difficult there needs to be some support.” She suggested that businesses under 200 square feet should be exempt from the DRS due to space and staffing restrictions. She highlighted that the smallest stores would struggle to find space for the returned containers that they would be obliged to accept. She continued: “A very large number of very small businesses are going to have practical difficulties with this system, as the vast majority of businesses would be doing manual take back, without a reverse vending machine. We therefore believe that there should be an exception for the very smallest businesses that will genuinely struggle.”

There were also concerns about Glass being included in the scheme with Ewan MacDonald-Russell from the Scottish Retail Consortium commenting: “We think a targeted DRS will absolutely improve recycling rates and tackle litter, but we have consistently been opposed to the inclusion of glass containers. We remain very concerned about the £50 million per year that this will cost retailers to manage.”

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The Solution

recyclever® provides an ideal solution for the upcoming DRS. Helping businesses to start supporting the circular economy where more of our waste is recycled and reused instead of sent to landfill or left to damage and pollute our environment.

Our reverse vending machines provide a mechanism to offer consumers a way to return their single use plastic bottles and aluminium cans in return for a reward. The waste is then sent to a reliable recycling outlet.

The more recyclever® machines available, the better for our environment.

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