The Daily Telegraph

Scrap Sturgeon’s green plastic plan, pubs urge SNP candidates

- By Hannah Boland

NICOLA STURGEON’S “devastatin­g” plans to encourage recycling by making customers pay more upfront must be abandoned, pub and restaurant chiefs have said, amid growing pressure on the SNP to scrap the scheme.

Hospitalit­y chiefs in Scotland say plans to introduce the so-called deposit return scheme must be scrapped as “the complexity and devastatin­g impact of it becomes glaringly evident”.

Lobby group Ukhospital­ity Scotland urged all three candidates to replace Ms Sturgeon as leader of the SNP to commit to axing it.

Ms Sturgeon’s plan would force companies to charge an extra 20p on products sold in single-use containers made from plastic, steel, aluminium or glass. Customers can then claim back the cost if they return their cans or bottles to be recycled. It is scheduled to come into force on Aug 16.

The plan is meant to encourage recycling but hospitalit­y chiefs have warned it will damage business by lumping customers with higher upfront costs.

Leon Thompson, executive director of Ukhospital­ity Scotland, said: “The flawed model, complexity and burdens of the scheme will put unnecessar­y pressure on both businesses and consumers, who are all struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

“These cast-iron facts, alongside concerns around how it could impact trading with the rest of the UK, necessitat­e an immediate halt to the scheme’s introducti­on.”

The scheme is already facing a holdup from Westminste­r. Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has called the scheme inflationa­ry as it will force prices higher.

Concerns have also been raised that the policy would introduce a trade barrier between England and Scotland, given that it would lead to different prices across the border.

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