Smallest businesses should be exempt from Scottish DRS, says FSB

The UK Federation of Small Businesses has called for businesses under 200 square feet in size to be exempt from the Scottish deposit return scheme (DRS), due to restrictions in space and staffing.

The issue was raised during a roundtable with a panel of experts hosted by the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee.

Susan Love, Policy Manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “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 takeback, without a reverse vending machine. We therefore believe that there should be an exception for the very smallest businesses that will genuinely struggle.”

The panelists also discussed the inclusion of glass containers, with Jonathan Marshall from trade body British Glass highlighting that the Norwegian DRS, which has provided inspiration for Scotland’s model, does not include glass containers.

Other issues discussed were whether online retailers should be obligated, whether beverage cartons should be included in a DRS, whether a scheme administrator would be in place before the scheme is due to start in 2021, and the issue of fraud.