United Kingdom

Lorna Slater: Delaying deposit return scheme would be ‘very damaging’

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater spoke out ahead of Scotland’s new first minister being installed next week – with all three of the candidates in the running to succeed Nicola Sturgeon having raised concerns about the scheeme.

SNP leadership hopeful and Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes spoke out about the “economic carnage” that could be caused if the timetable for the scheme – which is due to come in on August 16 – was unchanged.

Fellow leadership candidate Ash Regan has also called for the initiative to be paused, with the third contender, Health Secretary Huzma Yousaf, having pledged a grace period for small firms.

READ MORE: Scottish Tories left red-faced as media BANNED from Tory spring forum

However Slater, speaking ahead of the Scottish Green Party conference, insisted that delaying the scheme could be “very, very damaging”.

She said firms had already invested more than £300 million ahead of deposit return coming in, adding the scheme was also creating hundreds of new jobs for Scotland.

“We’re looking to create 500 jobs, some of those have already be recruited for,” the minister stated.

“No-one with any credibility at this point would do anything to undermine that substantial investment that has been made by businesses of all sizes to get ready for deposit return.”

READ MORE: Creator of Grand Theft Auto video game joins SNP

When introduced, the scheme will see shoppers charged a 20p deposit on every drink they buy in a can or bottle, with that money then refunded to them when they return the empty containers for recycling.

And Slater said: “Those businesses that have committed to this, they need to see those 20ps start flowing so they can get their return on that investment.

“Businesses have invested in reverse vending machines, they only start getting the handling fees for those when those 20ps start flowing and those businesses need that money back.

“To delay that when businesses need that investment, would be very, very damaging.

“I don’t think anyone with any credibility would seek to delay it after all that investment has been made.”


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button