The March 1 deadline for producers to register for Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) has been scrapped.

Scheme administrator Circularity Scotland said today that registration will remain open to allow remaining producers to complete the process. It was not immediately clear when the new deadline will be.

“SEPA, the scheme’s regulator has confirmed registration will remain open to enable all producers to sign up in time for the launch of the Deposit Return Scheme on 16 August, 2023,” Circularity Scotland said in a release.

The administrator said around 650 producers have signed up to the scheme, representing 26,000 products. Circular economy minister Lorna Slater took questions on the scheme in Scottish parliament today, though she refused to outline how many producers were yet to sign up to DRS. 

Circularity Scotland chief executive, David Harris, said: “We’ve never underestimated the challenge of delivering a scheme which requires the support of so many Scottish businesses. They will all be helping us to reach the goal of recycling billions of PET plastic, glass and metal drinks containers a year.  We’re now well on the way to achieving that vital ambition.

“I would encourage those producers who have begun their registration to complete it as soon as possible and can assure those producers who have yet to sign up, that we have people on hand to support them through the process.”

Circularity Scotland also said the registration for Return Point Operators is now open. An RPO is anyone who provides a service for the collection of recyclable PET plastic, metal and glass containers included in Scotland’s scheme and refunds consumers’ deposits.