Vintners’ fury as beer is labelled ‘Not for sale in Scotland’

Lorna Slater says she is ‘confident’ her recycling scheme will go ahead in August.

By Bill Heaney

Critics of the Scottish Government’s shambolic Deposit Return Scheme – Humza Yousaf, the new First Minister is supporting it despite widespread criticism –  have warned there is more to come after a beer was labelled ‘Not for sale in Scotland’.

It was spotted by Rhythm & Brews, a beer and music podcast based in Hertfordshire. They tweeted: “First time I’ve seen ‘Not for sale in Scotland’ on a beer label. Presumably this brewery has already decided it’s not going to sign up to Scotland’s incoming Deposit Return Scheme, and therefore won’t be able to sell their beers up there.”

A drastic reduction in choice for Scottish consumers is just one of the predicted problems with the scheme, which is due to launch in August. In reference to the Scottish Greens’ claim that they are “annoying all the right people”, Scots Tory MSP Stephen Kerr tweeted: “But hey, at least you’ve annoyed the Conservatives @lornaslater.”

Roddy Dunlop KC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates (Scottish Bar), replied: “I wish I’d copyrighted the phrase ‘not for sale in Scotland’. If the DRS goes forward in its current form, I could’ve made a fortune.”

Roddy Dunlop KC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Tory MSP Stephen Kerr and SNP leader and First Minister to be Humza Yousaf.

Blair Bowman, a whisky consultant and author based in Edinburgh and an outspoken critic of the Scottish Government’s flagship recycling scheme, added: “Look what you’ve done [Lorna Slater].”

And Martin Murray, a hospitality industry expert, added: “The first, of many, consequences of Scotland’s incoming Deposit Return Scheme.”

Under the DRS as it currently exists, from August all drinks containers sold in Scotland must have a separate bar code so the Reverse Vending Machines can register the return and refund the additional 20p cost to the consumer.

Expanding on the original tweet, Rhythm & Brews added: “For context, this is a relatively small brewery, based in SE England. Whilst I do not know, my guess would be they have decided that the marginal sales they make in Scotland are not worth the additional costs likely from DRS. Unlikely to bother with a separately labelled can.

They went on to explain that the disclaimer was necessary in case the beer somehow found its way into the Scottish market and there were “repercussions for non-compliance and said: “I would guess lots of small breweries outside Scotland will do the same.”

The podcasters didn’t identify the brewery and some people on social media took the view that they didn’t care if English beer is no longer available in Scotland.

One said: “Oh no it’s not like we have plenty beer already, plenty whisky as well. Never seen this can before where do they sell it? Does anyone from Scotland even buy it?”

Another declared: “Not really sure why this is an issue? We have loads of amazing locally produced beers in Scotland. We really don’t need to be importing more.”

Earlier this month, Ms Slater said: “I can say that Scotland’s deposit return scheme will go live in August with confidence because people have voted with their feet.”

Two of the three SNP leadership candidates – Kate Forbes and Ash Regan – said they would overhaul the DRS, while the narrow winner who will be the new First Minister, Humza Yousaf, says it will go ahead as planned.

One comment

  1. Is it a good scheme, is it a bad scheme. Do we know or do we not.

    Plastic is choking our planet, contaminating our lochs, rivers and seas. Even here in Bonnie Scotland where we supposedly eat pristine salmon and pristine shell fish the reality is quite different. Our lochs, rivers and seas are polluted.

    So where do we start. Maybe the source of the plastic pollution would be a start. Big plastic is the sister of Big Oil. Don’t tell us that technology can’t come up with products that are bio-degradable because technology can. Big Plastic however is quite happy producing what it produces. It’s business and damn the consequences.

    So is it a good scheme or a bad scheme. That is something we truly need to look at. The siren voices in industry cry bad scheme, but do they care. Of course they don’t. And the Greens who have a hold over the minority SNP are full of well intentioned loon balls. They don’t care about jobs or the economy. Save a dandelion and put a hundred families out a job is all too often their way. Many would have us living in a cave whilst they pick up their Hollyrood salary, and don’t practice what they preach.

    But yes, something needs to be done with the plastic, a deposit return scheme worked many many years ago with lemonade bottles and jam jars. So can we get this proposal to work without wrecking the household. Very maybe yes. There is value in waste, waste metal, waste aluminium, waste glass and believe it or not wate plastic.

    And the deposit return scheme. Well that is needed simply because human nature is such that without financial intervention all too many folks would just tip the waste – as they do just now.

    Or maybe we should just send our plastic waste down south for dumping. After all they want to dump nuclear waste up here.

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