It will come as a huge sigh of relief to many that the Deposit Return Scheme has been delayed until March 2024, but practically speaking what does that mean for operators? The Scheme is still going ahead but the First Minister has confirmed he will review a number of aspects of it.
In particular, Humza Yousaf confirmed a package of measures would be put in place to “simplify” and “de-risk” the scheme. Restrictions surrounding alcohol advertising will be ‘sent back to the drawing board’ to be reviewed and, hopefully, streamlined. He acknowledged concerns from the licensed trade and wider hospitality industry have been considered. The direction is to work with industry and public health stakeholders to agree a new set of proposals. The focus is acknowledged to still be to maintain the Scheme but underpinned by the fact it should not undermine Scotland’s world class drinks industry or tourism sector.
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