Biffa to sue Scottish government for £100m over bungled recycling scheme


A major waste firm is planning to take legal action against the Scottish government over the country’s failed deposit return scheme (DRS), according to a new report.

The report in the Daily Record says that Biffa, Scotland’s DRS’s official logistics service provider, is threatening to sue the government for £100m over the drinks recycling initiative.

Last year the planned launch of DRS in Scotland was axed amid concerns from supermarkets and shops, also because the UK government prevented Scotland from including glass in its DRS.

As a result the scheme has now been delayed until at least October 2025.

According to the report, the waste firm had spent millions, purchasing nearly 200 new trucks as well as recruiting staff, when Green minister Lorna Slater ditched the plan in the summer of last year.

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A source told the newspaper: “A huge investment was made in preparing for this contract and assurances were given that it would be going ahead.

“When it was cancelled, Biffa lost a significant amount of money and has no choice but to try and recover some of that from the Scottish Government given it was their scheme and they were responsible for it.”

According to a report in Circular Online, Ex-SNP rural affairs minister Fergus Ewing described the potential court case as “shocking” and wondered whether other cases might follow.

Last week, environment secretary Steve Barclay told MPs the 2025 DRS start date was “unrealistic” and 2027 was now “more likely”.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that work on the English government’s problematic DRS had been “halted”, with the project currently expected to be delayed until 2028, ten years after it was first announced.

Coca-Cola says the UK is in danger of becoming “the dirty man of Europe” unless it speeds up a cash incentive scheme to get more people to recycle bottles and cans.


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