Scotland’s delayed deposit return scheme for drinks bottles and cans is set to be fully operational by August 2023, with a phased approach starting from November 2022.
Commenting after the meeting, Mr McArthur said:
"While we now know the broad timetable for introducing a deposit return scheme in Scotland, the detail about how it will work in practice remains unclear and subject to negotiation. What is clear, however, is that implementing such a scheme in island areas, like Orkney, presents very specific challenges.
"It was encouraging, therefore, to hear Circularity Scotland, the organisation responsible for overseeing the introduction of DRS, acknowledging that a ‘one size fits all’ approach would not be appropriate. Today’s roundtable offered a timely opportunity to discuss some of general issues relating to the proposed scheme, as well as questions that will need to be addressed in an Orkney or islands context.
"I am grateful to the local businesses and community groups who took the time to attend and contribute to the roundtable. It was a useful discussion and their feedback has certainly provided Circularity Scotland and Zero Waste Scotland with plenty of food for thought.
"As the details of the scheme are being finalised, I want to make sure local businesses, groups and the wider public in Orkney are kept informed of developments. That will be particularly important given plans to introduce a voluntary scheme in parts of Orkney later this year. DRS has the potential to make a positive impact on the environment as well as reducing waste and litter, but only if the detailed implementation is right."