Orkney's MSP, Liam McArthur, has responded today to the announcement that a 20p Deposit Return Scheme is to be introduced across Scotland by 2021 by urging the Government to account for rural needs, and avoid unintended consequences.
Mr McArthur commented:
“Scottish Liberal Democrats were the first party to adopt the policy of a nationwide deposit return scheme for the sake of our climate and cleaning up our seas. This is the right thing to do if we are to end our throwaway culture.
“Getting the details of this scheme right, however, will be absolutely essential so that we avoid any unintended consequences. The specific needs of island areas must be properly taken into account and I have urged the government to undertake a proper islands impact assessment. Any scheme that is introduced must be both affordable and accessible to those living in our island communities.
“I also have concerns about the inclusion of glass within the scheme. Strong evidence from the successful scheme in Norway suggests that excluding glass can have benefits, both in encouraging the use of less environmentally damaging materials and helping smaller retailers in rural areas to participate.
“These and other issues will continue to be debated as the proposed legislation goes through parliament, but today’s announcement is a welcome step in the right direction.”