Campaign for Pubs

Campaign for Pubs welcomes First Minister’s announcement delaying Scotland’s flawed Deposit Return Scheme

The Campaign for Pubs has warmly welcomed the announcement today by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP that the flawed Deposit Return Scheme will be delayed by a year. The announcement was made in his today in the Scottish Parliament in his first major speech since being elected.

The Campaign for Pubs, which represents pubs and publicans and includes small brewer and independent producer members, had written to the First Minister urging a delay to revise the scheme, so it wouldn’t damage Scotland’s craft brewing scene and Scotland’s pubs, especially during the cost-of-living crisis.

The scheme as originally drafted would hugely discriminate against small brewers and other small drinks producers burdening them with very significant new costs that some Scottish craft breweries had warned would put them out of business. The overall impact of the scheme as planned would have be to see some brewers, small drinks producers and pubs going to the wall with large corporations benefiting, all at the expense of Scottish drinkers who would have been faced with less choice as well as higher prices.

The Campaign for Pubs are now offering to work with the Scottish Government to help come up with a scheme that both benefits the environment but doesn’t favour huge corporations and undermine competition and consumer choice.

Morag Douglas, Scottish Spokesperson for the Campaign for Pubs and licensee of the Star, Burntisland said:

“It’s excellent news and a huge relief to Scotland’s small breweries and small drinks producers and to Scottish pubs that the flawed Deposit Return Scheme has been delayed for a year. We thank the First Minister Humza Yousaf for listening and doing the right thing.

“Scotland’s small breweries, independent producers and pubs have long been champions of recycling and want to work with the Scottish Government to agree a scheme that helps the environment without favouring huge corporations over small producers and operators, which the currently drafted scheme would have done. We will continue to press for a scheme that will deliver the objectives in a more sustainable, sensible way and doesn’t threaten the diversity of the drinks offer in Scotland”.

Phil Saltonstall, Brewer Coordinator of the Campaign for Pubs and a founder of Brass Castle Brewery said:

“The announcement from the First Minister to pause the flawed DRS roll-out in Scotland and review its implementation is most welcome.  This should give time to ensure that DRS isn’t simply hijacked as an opportunity by big producers to snatch market share from hugely disadvantaged smaller competitor businesses and reduce consumer choice.

“Under the current proposed DRS structure it has looked very much like the only winners from the process would be a few large multinationals and the immodestly-remunerated executives behind its implementation.  The review now is an opportunity to ensure that the environment is actually the main beneficiary of DRS, while competition is maintained in the marketplace”.