The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed further delays to the launch of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

Last year, Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme was pushed back until October 2025. Now, the government has updated its DRS timeline once again, sharing that the roll out period for a UK-wide scheme will begin in Spring 2026. The scheme is then set to officially launch across the UK in October 2027. 

Speaking of the new DRS timeline, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said postponing the launch will provide more time to “align national schemes”, and praised the government’s “recognition that October 2025 is now an unrealistic target for DRS implementation across the UK”.

However, McClarkin also stressed the need for the DRS to be consistent: “Continued differences across the UK remains a huge challenge for industry, particularly in terms of glass inclusion, adding in significant additional costs and complexity which inevitably will impact consumers in terms of costs and choice.”

She continued: “Fully aligned schemes across the UK are vital, as is the need for the UK government and devolved nations to clearly set out the cumulative costs of all the upcoming packaging reforms, and how these will deliver against environmental objectives in the most cost-effective and proportionate manner. The cost of doing business for brewers and pubs remain acute and these added regulatory costs must be carefully considered.”