Green plastic bottles

Source: GettyImages-185413374

Newly elected Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf has been urged to ensure that the launch of the country’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is not delayed, by The Fed (Federation of Independent Retailers, formerly the NFRN).

In a letter congratulating Yousaf on his appointment, the Fed’s National President Jason Birks said it was important that the scheme went ahead this summer in light of the heavy investments independent retailers had already made in preparation for the scheme’s arrival.

During the leadership race, Yousaf announced that he would be looking to delay DRS.

Birks said: “Our members have spent time and money on ensuring they are prepared for the DRS scheme. We ask that the First Minister ensures the scheme is successfully launched by August.”

Within the letter, Birks also called on the First Minister to make a stance against the growth of retail crime that has plagued many of the Federation’s members’ stores.

Reports have suggested that between 2021 and 2022 there were over 850 daily incidents affecting retail workers, with around 70 of these daily incidents taking place in Scotland.

Birks added: “The rise of crime against retailers over the past few years, many of which are members of our organisation, is of huge concern to us here at the Fed.

“We would welcome support from the First Minister over this issue, so our members can feel more safe and secure in working in their businesses.”

In addition, Birks stated that help was required for independent retailers who were struggling to survive amid soaring business and energy costs.