Soda recycling bottle plastic can unsplash

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has urged the Scottish government to “think carefully” before potentially delaying the troubled deposit return scheme (DRS).

Ministers are under pressure from drinks producers and some retail organisations to delay the scheduled launch in August this year, because of uncertainty over how the scheme will operate.

Mo Razzaq, the Fed’s national deputy vice president, said: “For sure there are many issues which are unclear and causing huge problems for shops, and we are now just six months from launch day. Many of our members are angry and frustrated.

“At the same time, many retailers have already invested in changes to the layout and fittings in their shops to accommodate the returned bottles and cans. Some shops are also investing money they can’t afford in leased machines to handle the empties. We urge the Scottish government to think carefully about yet another delay to this scheme as this could be of concern to some retailers.”

Razzaq who owns a store in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, said similar schemes have been operating for many years in other countries around the world.

He added: “We want the Scottish government and the official agencies to sort out problems asap but not kick the deposit scheme into the long grass - again.

“Like members of the public, our members are concerned about the impact on our streets, beaches and seas if there is a further delay to this scheme to ensure more empties are recycled.”