Mo Razzaq DRS Reverse Vending machine

The Federation of Independent Retailers (The Fed) and The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) have hit back at Scottish government following first minister Humza Yousaf’s claim that there is no case for compensation over the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme, which has been delayed until October 2025

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Yousaf said: “We don’t believe there’s a case for the Scottish government to need to compensate because the action we’ve had to take is because of that 11th hour, last minute intervention from the UK government, which has meant that a Scottish scheme unfortunately isn’t viable.”

However, the Fed’s national deputy vice president Mo Razzaq, who has spent £10,000 creating a deposit room at his Premier store in Blantyre, puts the blame firmly at the feet of the Scottish Government. “How can the Scottish government claim that there is no case to answer?” he asked.

“It told us repeatedly to get ready for this scheme. Shopkeepers who took out leasing contracts are paying almost £4,000 a year for now redundant machines to process returned bottles and cans. 

“Some retailers have also paid thousands for structures to house the machines outside or shop fitting to accommodate them inside. This is money they can ill afford. The number of store closures in towns and villages across Scotland confirms small shops have a fragile economic existence. 

“The Scottish government’s claim to seek an improved relationship with business, will have faint credibility if it seeks to evade paying compensation.”

The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) was equally adamant that the industry needs compensating. “Compensation will be required for businesses who will have made significant investment decisions and signed up to contracted commitments based on glass being an in-scope material and then there are the costs associated with the further delay to scheme implementation,” said SGF chief Dr Pete Cheema OBE.  “The Scottish Government must address this issue as a matter of urgency.”

SGF has not started legal action regarding compensation but stated that it is keeping the option under review, while The Fed has been threatening legal action since last month when it was revealed that the scheme could be scrapped.