Coca-Cola, Red Bull seek millions after Scotland’s deposit return scheme collapse

Coca-Cola and Red Bull are among the companies considering in search of tens of millions of pounds in compensation following the postponement of Scotland’s deposit return scheme, based on sources. The Scottish Government’s plan, which would have added a 20p charge to single-use bottles and cans, has been delayed till no less than October 2025. The beverage industry had invested hundreds of thousands in preparation for the scheme, initially set to launch in March 2024, despite considerations about its potential influence on their companies and the creation of a commerce barrier between Scotland and the remainder of the UK.
The collapse of Scotland’s system was attributed to the UK Government, as Downing Street dominated that it could solely proceed if glass bottles had been excluded. With related schemes in the remainder of the UK not anticipated until 2025, the Scottish government had requested an exemption from the Internal Market Act, which governs trade within the UK post-Brexit.
It is known that the British Soft Drinks Association, representing firms like Coca-Cola, AG Barr, and Britvic, will meet subsequent week to discuss potential compensation claims for the “millions wasted” on making ready for the now-delayed Scottish system. Innis and Gun, a significant UK craft beer business, has also indicated that it is “carefully considering” legal action.
Founder Dougal Sharp expressed his frustration, saying, “I am massively frustrated that we have spent plenty of time, cash and effort in a scheme that we’ve been warning the government about for years was not right. It has value us many, many hours of work. Soaring has price us a lot of money. We will consult with our colleagues and contemplate carefully our subsequent steps. Every firm might be seeking to defend its monetary place.”

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