A DALGETY Bay business has joined Fife MSP Alex Rowley in raising concerns about the proposed deposit return scheme (DRS).

The politician visited wine wholesaler l'Art du Vin last week and has now written to Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater MSP, asking for the scheme to be paused until clarity is provided.

Mr Rowley said: “I think the most important point to make is that no one I have spoken to is against the principle of introducing a Deposit Return Scheme and the concerns raised by businesses, both large and small, whether wholesale suppliers or within the hospitality and retail sectors, are around specific elements of the Scottish Government scheme, not a DRS in general.

“I was quite taken aback by the combative statement made by the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater MSP, last week in the Chamber, as she accused opposition parties of turning this into a political wedge issue using misinformation and deception.

“This is a pretty ridiculous position to take when there are still significant questions that need to be answered, such as the VAT implications of the scheme, and whether or not the Scottish Government will receive the necessary exemptions from the UK Internal Markets Act required for this scheme to operate, which have not yet been secured.

“This SNP/Green government must realise the best chance of success for a DRS will come from bringing people with you, instead of this clumsy approach that threatens jobs across Fife and creates the very real possibility that small to medium businesses will be disproportionately impacted by the changes."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the scheme will go live on August 16 and will make producers responsible for recycling the bottles and cans they put on the market.

"Similar schemes are common in other European countries and have been shown to be very effective in improving recycling rates and tackling littering," said the spokesperson.

“With billions of bottles and cans to be collected, sorted and recycled, the scheme will be a major national undertaking and will help bring new economic opportunities across the country.

"Recruitment is underway to create 500 new jobs in processing and logistics, with an estimated £300m now invested by the private sector in this scheme.

“Producers responsible for more than two billion drinks containers have now signed up with Circularity Scotland. This means more than 90 per cent of the annual total volume of products sold are now included in the scheme.

"For the producers that have not yet registered, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) will continue to work with Circularity Scotland and producers to support businesses with compliance before the go live date.

“We understand that implementing deposit return is a big change for businesses. That’s why we have always said we will take a pragmatic approach to implementation, to ensure that as many businesses as possible can be part of Scotland’s DRS.”

Mid Scotland and Fife Green MSP, Mark Ruskell, this week said the DRS would be a "turning point" for recycling in the Kingdom.

"We have such beautiful scenery and nature, but that all too often it is blighted by discarded litter that can easily be recycled," he said.

“That is why I am delighted that so many retailers and businesses locally are preparing for the scheme. Everyone in Fife can be confident that the vast majority of the bottles and cans that they see in their local shops will be included.

"It will be a turning point for Scotland’s relationship with litter and recycling and will mean cleaner streets and beauty spots that we can all enjoy."