Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater has told MSPs that the deposit return scheme (DRS) “cannot go ahead as currently planned" after the UK Government insisted that glass be excluded from the plans.

The Greens minister is calling on the UK Government to set out conditions and is "urgently establishing to what extent there is a way forward for a modified scheme".

Read more: Lorna Slater seeks talks over 'modified' Deposit Return Scheme

But how did the scheme, already delayed three times, get to this stage?

March 2020

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament vote to approve regulations allowing a deposit return scheme, including glass, to be introduced.

But SNP environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham announces that the “go live” date would be pushed back from April next year to July 2021.

December 2021

Lorna Slater tells MSPs that the DRS will be further delayed until the summer of 2023 after lobbying from major retailers and drinks companies.

The Herald: Lorna SlaterLorna Slater

Ms Slater points the finger at the UK Government for the second delay to the scheme.

March 2022

The UK Government signaled that glass will not be included in the DRS being designed for England and Wales, despite the Scottish and Welsh plans including glass bottles.

Read more: Analysis: Lorna Slater is playing the scapegoat for SNP's return scheme mess

April 18 2023

First Minister Humza Yousaf announces the third delay to the Scottish DRS.

The Herald: Humza YousafHumza Yousaf (Image: PA)

In a statement at Holyrood, the SNP leader said the go-live date was to be pushed back until March 2024 He said he and Ms Slater had recognised the concerns of small businesses and the “uncertainty” created by the UK Government.

May 27 2023

The UK Government confirms it will require glass to be excluded from the scheme as part of approving an exemption under the post-Brexit internal market act.

The UK Government said that there was “insufficient justification” to include glass bottles in the scheme.

In a letter to the First Minister, the UK Government said that including glass in the Scottish scheme could create a “permanent divergence” in the market as schemes planned for other parts of the UK do not include this.

May 31 2023

Humza Yousaf warns that the DRS could be scrapped without a re-think from Westminster.

The FM said the Scottish Government is looking at options on how the scheme with the UK’s conditions imposed can progress without damaging Scottish businesses, but if no alternative can be found, the proposals may not continue.

June 6, 2023

Ms Slater confirms that the Scottish Government will seek an urgent meeting with the UK Government to discuss an “alternative” deposit return scheme for Scotland.

The Circular Economy minister told MSPs that Whitehall’s demand to remove glass meant the DRS could not go ahead as currently planned.

She said the government was now seeking to establish “what extent there is a way forward for a modified scheme.”