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Alister Jack accused of ‘totally inaccurate’ DRS claim by Circularity Scotland

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Circularity Scotland refuted claims made by the Scottish Secretary on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, where he suggested that the scheme put forward by the Scottish Government would crush glass and “put it into aggregate for roads”.

The firm said Jack’s claims have “seriously jeopardised” a £10 million investment in glass recycling planned for the DRS. 

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First Minister Humza Yousaf said it showed Jack “simply wants to sink” Scotland’s deposit return scheme. 


It comes after the UK Government told the Scottish Government that its recycling scheme could go ahead, but only if it excludes glass, as it diverges from the planned scheme in England.

We exclusively told how there have been calls for the UK Government to explain the reasoning behind its change in position on including glass in the recycling scheme, after the “striking coincidence” that a trade body had donated £20,000 to the Tories just six weeks later.

Jack (pictured below) dodged the question on the influence the donation had on the decision, and insisted that there are “still problems” with the Scottish scheme.

The National: Alister Jack on BBC Sunday Show

He told the programme: “The British Glass industry have written to us and said look this is not recycling glass this sort of scheme.

“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.”

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Jack added that there were other issues around contamination and that the UK Government had “listened to industry”.

However, Circularity Scotland rejected Jack’s suggestion and said the claims are “totally inaccurate”.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “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.

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

The FM blasted the “disastrous” interview and claims made by Jack on social media on Sunday afternoon.

He wrote: “In one disastrous interview, the Secretary of State for Scotland has ‘seriously jeopardised a £10m investment in glass recycling’ by his totally inaccurate claims – not my words but those of @Circ_Scotland the body established by industry to deliver the Deposit Return Scheme.

“Proof, if ever it was needed, Alister Jack simply wants to sink Scotland’s DRS scheme.

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“The PM should ignore the calamitous Scotland Office and do the right thing by the environment, business and devolution and grant the full DRS exemption, including glass.”

The SNP’s longest-serving MP, Pete Wishart, added that there should be an Urgent Question called about the claims in the House of Commons.

He wrote: “This is so outrageous that there must be an Urgent Question in Parliament about it.

“This sort of fabrication can only be concocted to sink the scheme for political purposes.”

The Scotland Office declined to comment.

It comes after former SNP health secretary Jeane Freeman said that Jack’s claims of issues in the scheme were “solvable”.

Freeman pointed out that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Scotland and England had differing Covid apps, test and protect schemes and other programmes, but both governments “made it work”.

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