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Wholesalers call for say in Deposit Return Scheme

THE Scottish Wholesale Association has demanded representation on the board of the administrator for the Deposit Return Scheme, declaring the sector is critical to the success of the plan.

Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said in a robust presentation to the environment, climate change and land reform committee at Holyrood that the vital role that will be played by the wholesale channel in the proposed scheme, designed to help the environment, should be recognised with formal SWA board membership of the new scheme administrator.

The membership of the proposed administrator currently includes only retailers, manufacturers and producers, and Mr Smith said he considers this unacceptable given the huge role that the wholesale channel will play in the new DRS.

READ MORE: Recycling scheme could cut 30,000 plastic bottles a day in Scotland

He told the committee: “In our view, board membership should reflect the parts of the supply chain that are obligated under DRS.

“Wholesalers are critical to the implementation and success of DRS in Scotland and that vital role should be reflected with a position on the administrator board for the Scottish Wholesale Association as the lead body for Scotland’s wholesaling industry.”

READ MORE: 72% would welcome UK-wide deposit return system for drink containers

He also said the wholesale association is the only pivotal part of the supply chain that is not compensated in any way under the current DRS proposals, either through a handling fee or as members of the administrator.

He said: “Indeed, as the wheels of Scotland’s food and drink industry the wholesale channel will deliver DRS-obligated products to Scotland’s 4,972 independent retailers and 39,000 restaurants, pubs and clubs and can therefore play a hugely important role in helping to identify fraud.”

The SWA also used the opportunity to call for the addition of a dispute resolution mechanism into the DRS proposals as well as a formal means of ensuring that all voices are heard.

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