The Scottish Conservatives are due to vote against the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) on the grounds that ‘now is not the time’ to burden businesses with increased costs and pressure.
The Statutory instrument implementing the scheme is due to be voted on in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative shadow environment secretary will explain that, due to the catastrophic economic effects of Covid-19, businesses themselves are struggling and they simply will not be able to cope with the extra burdens placed on them by the scheme, despite the delay until 2022.
A number of Scottish business representatives have all asked that the scheme be paused.
Highlighting the challenging economic circumstances faced by businesses, just yesterday the Federation of Small Businesses published research highlighting that one third of small businesses are unsure they will survive the Covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown measures it has required.
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative shadow environment secretary will say;
“Everyone in this chamber supports a Deposit Return Scheme. There are no disputes that a Deposit Return Scheme can increase recycling rates and protect our environment.
“The question is timing.
“We support the delayed implementation to July 2022 in light of the Covid outbreak. However, the Scottish Conservatives don't think that goes far enough.
“Small businesses are struggling more than ever.
“The business community will be responsible for making DRS work.
“Now is not the time to force them to scrutinise and engage with legislation, adding to their burden.
“We can't see why the Climate Change Plan would be delayed - only for Deposit Return Scheme legislation to be brought forward at this crucial moment.
“It's not a question of scrapping the work on DRS. The issue is only one of timing.
“The environment would be better served by waiting until the business community can turn their focus more towards DRS, and make a success of it.
“The climate crisis needs urgent action - but tackling Covid has to be our top priority.”