Scottish ministers’ bank gives £9 million for DRS

Circularity Scotland – the organisation set up to run Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) – has been promised £9 million funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank to develop its activities.

The Bank is a public limited company owned by Scottish ministers and the allocation of £9 million has meant that the Royal Bank of Scotland has also this month given the organisation £9 million as additional capital.

(l-r) Funding agreed: Scott Joyce, Bank of Scotland; Circular Economy minister Lorna Slater; David Harris, Circularity Scotland chief executive; and Mark Munro of the Scottish National Investment Bank

Scotland’s recycling minister, Lorna Slater,  heralded the money from the Scottish National Investment Bank as: “a tremendous vote of confidence in Scotland’s deposit return scheme, which will be the first of its kind in the UK and one of the most environmentally ambitious and accessible in Europe.”

Circularity Scotland, said that the funding would help its aims as the DRS administrator which are to “help people recycle billions of single-use drinks containers every year”.

The Royal Bank of Scotland money will be used to fund the start-up costs for the DRS  administrator with the scheme due to go live in August 2023.

“The Deposit Return Scheme will support Scottish Government efforts to help households to return empty, single-use containers for collection for recycling. It will help to tackle climate change, increase quantity and quality of materials collected for recycling, and decrease litter, supporting a circular economy,” the organisation says.

Net Zero

Mark Munro, executive director, sustainable investment at the Scottish National Investment Bank said: “We are pleased to be able to support the roll out of the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland by investing in Circularity Scotland. Increasing recycling rates is a vital component in Scotland’s transition to net zero, one of the Bank’s key missions.”

The investment, he added, supports the Bank’s mission to support a just transition to net zero and its objective to leverage private capital in its investments.

People in Scotland will have a DRS system in August 2023

Minister Slater said: “By capturing billions of bottles and cans every year for recycling, it will make an important contribution to our response to the climate crisis.”

David Harris, chief executive officer at Circularity Scotland added: “We are delighted to be working with Scottish National Investment Bank and Bank of Scotland. Their investments alongside those already received from industry will support our work in providing Scotland with the most comprehensive and efficient Deposit Return Scheme in the world.

“We are committed to being a highly effective and efficient scheme administrator creating exciting employment opportunities and this funding makes that possible.”

Financing ecosystem

Scott Joyce, associate director, at Bank of Scotland said: “Addressing the sustainability challenges the country faces requires collaboration from within the financing ecosystem.

“So, we were keen to be able to work with the Scottish National Investment Bank on this funding arrangement and ensure Circularity Scotland Limited has the support needed to make a success of its recycling initiatives. We look forward to seeing the scheme go from strength to strength.”

As scheme administrators, we bring together key operational partners right across the drinks supply chain

– Circularity Scotland

Circularity Scotland is an organisation that has been created “to ensure the smooth roll-out and successful operation” of Scotland’s DRS.

The organisation explains that: “As scheme administrators, we bring together key operational partners right across the drinks supply chain from producers and importers through to hospitality, wholesale and retail businesses. We work with them to ensure the scheme is designed and implemented effectively and support everyone in meeting their legal obligations.

“The scheme is designed to be self-financing with administrative costs covered by revenues from recovered materials and unredeemed deposits and a small producer fee.”

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Circularity Scotland

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