Lorna Slater is being squarely blamed for the disastrous rollout of Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) – but the Green minister is attempting, and somewhat struggling, to sort out a mess created by the SNP.

The stuttering rollout of the key Scottish Government policy is being pinned directly on the Lothians MSP – from opponents and also from SNP politicians and activists with very selective and short memories.

There is a narrative doing the rounds that the DRS is a mess made at the hands of the Scottish Greens, along with plans to restrict fishing and the blocked gender reforms. That narrative is nonsense and is convenient for SNP politicians and campaigners uncomfortable with some of the backlash to the Scottish Government’s key policies in recent months.

The principle of the DRS was and is supported by all major parties at Holyrood, including the Scottish Conservatives.

It is important to point out that the failure to implement the DRS is the making of the Scottish Government.

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But the UK Government must take some of the latest chapter of blame over the glass exclusion row. Despite an agreement between the UK Government and the Welsh Government over glass being included in that scheme and the fact that the matter is very much devolved to Holyrood, it does appear that Alister Jack has blocked another key Scottish Government policy due to the fact he does not agree with it.

Even if that is not the intent, that is very much the perception – given Mr Jack has been picking off policies he disapproves of left, right and centre.

That said, the DRS has been a mess – a bin fire that can be traced back to the door of former SNP environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

In March 2020, Ms Cunningham, who stood down from Holyrood in 2021, announced the first delay to the scheme due to the pandemic.

That sounds reasonable given the havoc Covid caused to every part of the economy. But what sounds less reasonable is the lack of any real action taken by Ms Cunningham to ensure that things were ready to go once the horrors of the pandemic subsided.

As she announced the go-live date for the scheme would be delayed until 2022, Ms Cunningham insisted the move would give retailers and producers “time to prepare for a successful scheme from day one”.

Sadly, very little budged with the scheme in response to business concerns until Humza Yousaf entered Bute House.

Ms Slater, along with Patrick Harvie, became the first Greens to become ministers anywhere in the UK – when their party struck a deal with the SNP following the 2021 Holyrood election.

The Herald:

As part of the Bute House Agreement, Ms Slater, a newly elected MSP, was handed responsibility for the circular economy – in hindsight, a chalice laced with poison.

One of Ms Slater’s first acts as a minister was to initially delay a moratorium on ending the burning of waste.

In all reality, Ms Slater has inherited Scotland’s flailing waste reduction strategy and has been forced to try and own it – all despite the lack of preparedness in rolling out the DRS and key waste policies already off track, all before she was an MSP.

In November 2021, Ms Slater announced the second delay to the DRS before under Mr Yousaf’s administration, handing the scheme a hat-trick of delays.

Ms Slater has been quick to blame the UK Government. In her first delay of the DRS, the Greens minister wasted no time pointing to the pandemic and Brexit as key reasons why the Scottish Government scheme appeared to be coming off the rails.

Some of the criticism of the UK Government is valid, but it is not the responsibility...

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