The company set up to deliver Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has collapsed into administration days after trade organisations said members would no longer continue to fund it.

Blair Nimmo and Alistair McAlinden from Interpath Advisory have been appointed joint administrators to Circularity Scotland.

The administrators said approximately 40 staff members were employed by Circularity Scotland to deliver DRS in August 2023. It was announced in April 2023 that the DRS would be delayed until March 2024, and on 7 June 2023, the Scottish government announced that the scheme would be delayed further until October 2025 at the earliest.

Circularity Scotland ceased to trade immediately upon the appointment of the joint administrators on June 20.

Nimmo, chief executive of Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future launch of the Deposit Return Scheme prompted the company’s backers to withdraw future funding, and as such, the directors were left with few options other than to seek the appointment of administrators.”

Reacting to the news, the Federation of Independent Retailers vice president Mo Razzaq expressed sympathy for Circularity Scotland employees.

He added: “Looking to the future, we feel there is a compelling case for one organisation to run a bottle and can return scheme for the whole of the UK.  If each of the four nations has its own organisation, the system is likely to be more complex, bureaucratic and expensive for retailers, drinks producers and consumers.  All of this will get in the way of our shared objective of a successful deposit return scheme curbing litter and waste of the planet’s resources.

 “We believe it would also be helpful now for Scotland to review the strengths and weaknesses in the planning for its own deposit system so that we can help shape the creation of a stronger system for the UK. More research into the successful launch of systems in other countries around the world, would also help inform our thinking.”