Nicola Sturgeon web

Nicola Sturgeon web

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Programme for Government yesterday, setting out legislative priorities for 2021/22, including plans to introduce a Retail Strategy.

The First Minister stated that the new Retail Strategy aims to help the sector innovate, thrive and support local supply chains. The Programme for Government includes plans to revitalise local communities through the development of ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ where essential services can be accessed within a short walk or cycle.

The First Minister also confirmed an update is due shortly on the implementation timetable for a deposit return scheme (DRS) in Scotland.

Under current plans, unless exempt, all retailers in Scotland will be required to take back containers once the scheme comes into force. All retailers will be required to charge the 20p deposit on eligible containers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops will play a key role in the introduction of a deposit return scheme and in order to ensure that that the scheme is workable for both businesses and consumers it is important that it is cost-neutral for retailers via an appropriate handling fee and aligns with the rest of the UK.

“The introduction of this system is likely to be complex, which is why retailers need clarification on the implementation of a deposit return scheme in Scotland, which is currently planned for summer 2022.”

The full programme is available here.