Redundancies loom

Circularity Scotland may collapse over DRS delay

Bottle return Deposit Return Scheme
The DRS has been delayed until 2025

The company overseeing the controversial deposit return scheme (DRS) could collapse and its staff made redundant after being caught up in the dispute between the Scottish and UK Governments.

Staff of Circularity Scotland were sent home last week and are waiting to find out if they will be paid this month.

Administration is a potential option as the not-for-profit organisation’s plan to begin operations were pushed back to October 2025.

This followed the UK Government’s demand that the DRS could only go ahead if glass was excluded. The Scottish Government has said it has no choice other than to delay, although Circularity Scotland itself said it could work without glass.

It has hired 50 staff and its chief executive David Harris is on a £300,000 salary.

Talks are said to be ongoing between the organisation and the drinks companies which are funding it. They were anticipating a return on their investment from August when the scheme was due to begin. This was delayed until next March until the latest decision to push the start date further out.

A spokesperson for Circularity Scotland told the Daily Record: “The board of Circularity Scotland have been working to manage the impact of the Scottish Government’s announcement and find a way for the business to continue to operate.

“While this work is ongoing, we instructed staff to go home on Thursday, June 8.

“The unfortunate reality is that, at this point, we are not able to confirm whether our staff will be paid for this month or whether they will be able to return to the office.

“The board recognises that this is an extremely difficult time for our people and is working tirelessly to find a solution. We have remained in communication with our staff throughout and will provide updates to them at the earliest possible time.”

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said: “This is an appalling way to treat staff and yet another sign of the SNP-Green government’s disastrous incompetence.

“It is a disgrace that people are at risk of losing their jobs because our two dysfunctional governments can’t work together.”

Tory MSP Maurice Golden: “A DRS could have been launched in Scotland next year with the support of business and consumers, but the SNP-Green government preferred to pick a fight with the UK Government instead.”

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