Slater criticizes the UK government for making DRS conditional

According to reports Friday morning, the necessary exemption from the Internal Market Act will only be granted if the Scottish Government excludes glass from the DRS and agrees to standardize deposit charging, barcodes and labeling across the UK.

CONTINUE READING: Jack is accused of lying to MPs about the DRS dispute with the Scottish Government

The BBC reports that the UK government will also insist on a reciprocal membership system, so companies joining in one of the four countries will automatically be registered in all countries.

The Internal Mark Act was introduced after Brexit to ensure smooth trade between the different nations of the UK.

As the Scottish system would come into force before similar initiatives in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it could ultimately create a barrier to trade and will require an exemption.

Ms Slater has previously warned that without a decision by the end of the month, the deal may not be viable.

There has long been a dispute between British and Scottish ministers as to when this was first requested.

The scheme will see a 20p levy charged on each single-use item, which will be refunded when the empty container is returned to the retailer.

It was supposed to start in August, but was postponed until next year.

CONTINUE READING: Activists stage protest against deposit return scheme in front of Tesco

In a statement released on Friday, Ms Slater said the Scottish Government had learned of the conditions attached to the DRS through the media.

She said: “Once again the UK Government has completely disregarded decentralisation. Scottish ministers have not yet received any communication of their decision. This treats the Scottish Parliament with contempt.

“If the press reports are correct, this would be an eleventh hour decision by the UK Government to unilaterally remove glass from Scotland’s deposit return system, which would overrule the decentralization agreement and undermine our efforts to protect our environment and reduce climate emissions.

“We see no justification for their reported actions that would undermine their own climate goals.

“That would mean around six hundred million bottles that would have been collected under the scheme are not being collected, despite the fact that companies in Scotland have invested millions of pounds in preparing for their inclusion.

“If that decision goes through as reported, many of these bottles would needlessly end up as broken glass on our streets, our parks and our beaches.”

Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak said the Scottish Government should “reconsider” the DRS.

The UK government has been asked for comment.

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