Hundreds of businesses have called on the Scottish government to “delay, review and rethink” the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

A letter urging Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to delay the DRS has collected around 500 signatures from businesses and trade bodies. The letter follows an announcement last week that the March 1 registration deadline for producers had been scrapped.

Following that announcement, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) called for an “immediate delay and a fundamental review of the flawed scheme”. The WSTA, which has signed the letter, highlighted that the scheme has seen just 664 producers register out of around 4,500 – less than 15%.

The letter states: “We are all determined to play our part in driving sustainability, enabling a circular economy, improving recycling rates and tackling waste and litter. We share the objectives that DRS was set out to deliver, but in its current form, and without change, it is destined to fail.”

And goes on to dispute claims by minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater, that businesses want DRS to continue, adding: “We can tell you businesses the length and breadth of Scotland’s communities do not.”

The letter concludes that “pressing on with DRS, in its current form, would be reckless” and calls on the Scottish government to “delay, review and rethink DRS plans, and give businesses more time to prepare and allow them to sign up for a scheme in which they can have confidence will deliver and without taking on unacceptable liability”.

Signatories include CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, SCDI as well as the Scotch Whisky Association, Scottish Wholesale Association, the Society of Independent Brewers, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality and the WSTA.

You can read a copy of the letter here