Lorna Slater has suggested the troubled deposit return scheme (DRS) could be further delayed or even binned after accusing the UK Government of trying to “sabotage” the policy.

The Greens circular economy minister warned MSPs that the Scottish Government is assessing whether the DRS is a policy “we can make work” after UK ministers refused to give an exemption under the internal market act, which is needed for the policy to go ahead.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack wrote to the Scottish Government on Friday night, partially approving an exemption to the internal market act, but excluding glass containers from the scheme – a key principle of the recycling policy, agreed by the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Slater said: “If the UK Government had given us the full exclusion that we had sought, then I would be here today setting out all the detailed steps that we are taking ahead of go-live date next March.”

She added: “But instead, we are now being forced to examine whether the deliberate sabotage by the UK Government leaves us something we can make work.

Read more: Slater blasts UK Government as they attach conditions to DRS

“We will need some time to go through the detail of the UK Government decision and conditions and I will update Parliament on next steps.

“There is still a win-win opportunity for the UK Government if it immediately reverses its 11th hour decision and enables Scotland to pave the way for the all-in DRS scheme, including glass, that its own analysis concluded was the best option. That is what it should do.”

Ms Slater said the move “makes no sense economically”.

The minister said: “This is just the latest example of how devolution is now, frankly, under sustained attack.

“When we pass laws to make lives a bit easier for trans people, the Scottish Secretary steps in and blocks the legislation.”

She added: “When Scottish ministers engage with other nations to share ideas and to promote Scotland as a place to visit, to study and to invest, the UK Foreign Secretary issues a diktat to overseas embassies to silence and side-line them.

“And now, it is clear we cannot even introduce a recycling scheme without it being sabotaged by bad faith actors in the UK Government, who never supported devolution in the first place.

Read more: SNP Net Zero Secretary claims UK wants Scotland to test water on DRS

“The Scottish Secretary, whose job is supposed to be ensuring that devolution runs smoothly, seems more interested in torpedoing Scotland’s Parliament than he is in protecting Scotland’s environment.”

The Greens minister insisted the UK Government’s approach “has nothing to do with co-operation or partnership”, adding that “it’s ‘our way or the highway’.”

She added: “So in Scotland we can have a DRS that will be ready to launch next March.

“And yet the UK Government wants to sabotage the one scheme in the UK that will be ready to go for a UK scheme that is nothing more than a plan on a page.”

Ms Slater also challenged the UK Government to detail what the English DRS scheme would look like.

Read more: DRS: Firms spend £300m to handle glass in scheme which may be axed

She said: “My challenge to the UK Government today is this: to demonstrate how and when they will put in place a UK scheme for Scotland to align with.

“Show us a credible pathway, the regulations, the scheme administrator, secure funding, the staff recruitment, the system development, the procurement of delivery contracts, the partnership work with producers and retailers.

“In other words, show us all of the things that we have been working hard to put in place in Scotland, all of the things that will give businesses, producers, retailers, stakeholders the certainty that they need.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Maurice Golden claimed Ms Slater's Holyrood statement was "all about picking a fight with the UK Government" adding that the attack was "to distract from the mess she’s made of deposit return".

He added:“Lorna Slater’s scheme is on its third delay, retailers have taken legal action and producer registration was such a shambles that the minister couldn’t bring herself to admit how many had failed to sign up.

“I want this scheme to work. That’s I voted for it, it’s why I called a debate on it when the minister wouldn’t and it’s why I’ve offered solutions to the minister in both public and private.

“Lorna Slater has come to Parliament today – not to update us on DRS – but to indulge in an anti-UK rant.  She would rather pick a fight with the UK Government than support a scheme that works for everyone. She has traded her environmentalism for nationalism.

“The minister said in her statement that the scheme can launch next March, but when I asked her to finally be straight with businesses – and confirm that it definitely would – she was unable or unwilling to do so.

“As they have been throughout this chaos, Scottish business is kept in the dark by Lorna Slater.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton criticised the Scottish and UK governments for leaving businesses "caught in the middle" amid the DRS row.  

He said:“Both the Scottish and UK governments are at it. Businesses are caught in the middle and being messed about.

“The fact is that the Scottish Government made a pig’s ear of a good idea, long before it tried to use a constitutional row to muddy the waters around its own inadequacy.

“Retailers and producers could work with a scheme that is competent and which doesn’t throw up barriers, but that’s not what they had in front of them.

“Isn’t part of the problem that we have here two governments that are incapable of owning up to mistakes, for whom cooperation is a dirty word even if that is what hard-pressed businesses are crying out for?”