Scotland could be allowed to pilot a UK-wide deposit return scheme, Sky News understands.

The Scottish government is seeking an exemption from internal market rules and is currently awaiting a decision from UK ministers amid plans to launch a scheme north of the border next March.

Sky News understands that a letter is expected to be sent to the First Minister Hamza Yusuf Friday afternoon who will issue a conditional permitting agreement Scotland For a UK-wide workout scheme.

The UK government is expected to request that glass be excluded from the scheme, which is a key part of the Scottish proposals.

Other conditions are likely to include standardization of deposit fees, bar codes and labeling across the UK.

The government is also expected to insist on a membership scheme so that companies that join anywhere in the UK are automatically registered across the country.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

The controversial scheme was set to start in August but was pushed back to March 2024 after that Mr. Youssef was installed as Prime Minister.

The scheme will see shoppers north of the border pay an extra 20p when buying drinks in a can or bottle, with that deposit then returned when the empty container is returned for recycling.

Industry figures argued it would impose fatal costs on their businesses and create a trade barrier between Scotland and the rest of the UK. But environmentalists say it will cut carbon emissions and reduce litter.

The Scottish government is seeking an exemption from the UK government for the scheme in Scotland under the Internal Market Act – which regulates trade in the different parts of the UK post-Brexit.

The waiver is required because the scheme in Scotland is due to start before similar initiatives in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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If no exemption is secured by the end of May, Lorna Slater, minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, warned the Scottish government would have to make a “proactive decision” on whether its scheme is “viable”.

Mrs. Slater, Scottish Greens MSP Lothian, was He was questioned about the scheme in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

Although acknowledging that the industry had “invested hundreds of millions of pounds” towards the scheme, it dodged questions about who would be responsible for compensation if it did not come to fruition.

Instead, she told ministers she was looking forward to a positive decision from the UK government and that “all systems are in place” to continue with the launch.

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Rishi Sunak has called on the Scottish government to “reconsider” plans to help tackle the cost of living crisis.

Asked about the scheme during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, he said it would “reduce choice and increase prices for consumers”.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said during a visit to Rotherlin in south Lanarkshire on Friday that he wanted the plan to succeed but criticized both governments.

“We have two governments that are more inclined to find a point of division between them than to actually meet and make this scheme work,” he said.

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