The First Minister has urged the UK Government to revoke a decision which would force Scotland to exclude glass from its deposit return scheme (DRS). 

Humza Yousaf wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and warned that the demands would "detrimentally" impact businesses and "fundamentally" threatens the viability of the scheme. 

As well as putting the future of the scheme itself in "grave danger", Mr Yousaf warned that the intervention "demonstrates a major erosion of the devolution settlement". 

His letter requested a "full exclusion" to allow the DRS to be implemented as planned.

"Without this, the Scottish Government is not prepared to put Scottish businesses at a competitive disadvantage due to the last-minute demands the UK Government has made," it continued. 

Last Friday, the UK Government said that all schemes across the UK "will need to align on which containers are in scope."

The UK Government agreed to grant the temporary exemption from the Internal Market Act but ministers claimed that there was “insufficient justification” for glass bottles to be included.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Yousaf said the conditions imposed by the UK Government "are so lacking in detail as to make this requirement effectively impossible to meet". 

The SNP leader urged for a response by Monday to allow his Cabinet to consider the developments. 

READ MORE: Yousaf accuses Labour of 'sitting on their hands' over devolution

He wrote: "We cannot – and will not – put Scottish businesses at a competitive disadvantage by the UK Government’s eleventh-hour changes to the range of materials included, impacting Scottish jobs, inward investment and potentially reducing choice for consumers in Scotland."

The UK Government had intended to include glass in their scheme until March 2022. 

This is two years after the Scottish Parliament passed their Regulations, the First Minister wrote. 

"As late as January 2023, the UK Government confirmed that it was for devolved governments to decide the scope of their DRS," the letter continued. 

Mr Yousaf emphasised that as the UK Government scheme is not due to come into place until a year after the Scottish DRS, there are not enough details to coordinate the schemes. 

His letter adds: "The reality is that your scheme is at such an early stage of development that you are unable to provide the operational details required to allow the schemes to be interoperable.

"Businesses need certainty and they need it now – not in two years’ time when the UK Government scheme potentially, hopefully, launches."

The First Minister also turned to the Welsh deposit scheme where ministers are still pushing ahead with a scheme that would include glass. 

His Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford criticised the UK Government for forcing the exclusion of glass in Scotland earlier this week. 

Mr Drakeford said he was “considering the implications” of the decision for the Welsh Government.

“The English Government is the outlier here," he added.