HUMZA Yousaf has accused Alister Jack of making "intentionally misleading and false" claims over glass recycling in the Deposit Return Scheme. 

The First Minister went on to say that the Scotland Office was "spreading false statements in the media” and "only focused on disrupting the scheme."

The heated comments came after the Conservative minister appeared on the BBC and claimed Circularity Scotland was not going to recycle glass but crush it up and turn it into aggregate for roads.

That was rejected by the limited company overseeing the Scottish DRS. They warned that the comment could have "seriously jeopardised" £10 million worth of investment.

The deadline for the removal of UK Government conditions on Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) is due to expire on Monday with the scheme potentially being scrapped if ministers do not back down.

Last night Mr Yousaf called on the Prime Minister to “intervene immediately and take charge of this situation for the UK Government.”

READ MORE: Scottish Government 'misrepresented' Tennent's DRS concerns

However, the SNP leader’s claims about the DRS also came under scrutiny, after C&C Group, who own Tennent’s said the Scottish Government had misrepresented their position.

The drinks giant said the selected paragraphs of their letter to the First Minister that were leaked to the press gave the impression they wanted the Scottish DRS to proceed with the inclusion of glass.

In a new letter, sent to Mr Jack, the Glasgow-based brewer made clear they could not get behind a standalone Scottish scheme without glass and that they were actively seeking a UK-wide scheme.

Scotland's troubled DRS was supposed to launch in August but has already been put back until next year.

It would see each single-use item carry a levy of 20p which is then refunded when the empty container is returned to retailers.

Last weekend, the UK Government made clear the Scottish Government’s DRS would only be given the necessary exemption to the UK Internal Market Act if they made a number of substantial changes.

They included agreeing to standardise the deposit charge and labelling with schemes launching across the rest of the UK in 2025.

Crucially, they also said glass should not be part of the DRS.

For Tennent's who sell most of their product in cans, that would mean their drinkers paying an extra 20p, while someone drinking bottled beer would escape the recycling levy.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf urges Rishi Sunak to rethink DRS intervention

On Saturday, Mr Yousaf wrote to Mr Sunak warning that the glass exclusion "detrimentally" impacts businesses and would "fundamentally" threaten 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". 

Asked if the Prime Minister should overturn the block, Mr Jack said:  "No, we've given an exclusion. There are four conditions in that exclusion, which allow the schemes to work across the United Kingdom." 

“And we believe that that makes sense because that's what industry have written to us and industry have asked us to do," he added. "I haven't had a single letter from a business supporting the proposed scheme that Lorna Slater brought forward. Whereas I have had over 1,000 letters of concern.

"And it's those concerns that we've taken into account when we've come to our conclusion.”

The Herald:

On the issue of including glass, the Scottish Secretary said he had spoken to British Glass, and that they had claimed the Scottish scheme will largely be crushing glass to be used as aggregate for roads.

“The British Glass industry have written to us and said look this is not recycling glass this sort of scheme,” he said.

“Circularity Scotland are going to crush it and put it into aggregate for roads.

“We believe the scheme should be melting it, as happens with the current local authority schemes, it should be melted, and then recycled for bottles, and we agreed with that.”

A spokesman for Circularity Scotland said they had “consistently stated” that the Scottish scheme had set a target of 90 per cent for the remelting and reuse of glass from the scheme’s launch.

“Any claims to the contrary are totally inaccurate.

“These claims have seriously jeopardised a £10 million investment in glass recycling planned for Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme.”

READ MORE: Anger over Deposit Return Scheme boss's £300,000 salary

In a statement released on Sunday evening, the First Minister hit out at the Secretary of State: “The UK Government continues to treat Scotland’s Parliament with utter contempt and Jack’s comments about how the Deposit Return Scheme will deal with glass are intentionally misleading and false.

“Circularity Scotland has consistently stated that the Scottish Deposit Return Scheme has set a target of 90% for the remelting and reuse of glass from the scheme's launch, rising to 95% post-launch - any claims to the contrary are totally inaccurate.

“The Scotland Office is running out of road with excuses for blocking Scotland’s scheme and has resorted to spreading false statements in the media.

“But the UK Government’s assault on Scotland doesn’t stop with our democracy, it is now extending to our businesses.

“This intervention from the calamitous Scotland Office has put £10 million of investment on the line.

“It’s clear that Alister Jack and his colleagues at the Scotland Office are only focused on disrupting the scheme rather than working collaboratively to find an approach that works for Scottish business.

“The Prime Minister must intervene immediately and take charge of this situation for the UK Government.

“Iconic Scottish brands have stated quite clearly that the removal of glass from a Scottish Deposit Return Scheme places companies at a competitive disadvantage versus UK and global competitors, and that it would have significant consequences for Scottish investment and jobs.

“Scotland is ready to lead the UK on recycling with the Deposit Return Scheme. The consequences of using the Internal Market Act, effectively to rewrite devolved laws passed by the Scottish Parliament, without any democratic accountability or oversight, are huge.”