DRS: Scotland must defend environment and democracy from Tories

The UK Government's decision to block Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme is an attack on our environment and democracy.

The UK Government has effectively ripped up Scotland’s devolution settlement and caused untold future damage to the environment with its outrageous attack on democracy, the Scottish Greens have said.

Mark Ruskell MSP, the party’s environment spokesperson, said:

“Every person in Scotland who cares about the environment should be absolutely sickened by this outrageous turn of events and where it now leaves us.

“MSPs sitting in the Scottish Parliament passed a law that would have completely reset our relationship with litter and recycling, created hundreds of jobs and brought us in line with more than 50 other countries doing their bit to tackle climate change.

“But at the first sniff of a malt, the Tory government at Westminster put a red pen through our parliamentary Bill and left it in limbo, effectively ripping up our devolution settlement. 

“What’s next? If it can happen to DRS it can happen to any of our plans to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. What of our Just Transition, what about our marine areas, or grouse moors?

“Many people have been campaigning for years to get a Deposit Return Scheme who will justifiably be incredibly angry and worried at this delay caused by the utter contempt shown towards this parliament by the Tory government. 

“I too am angry at the way the UK Government has trampled all over Scotland’s plans to tackle litter and improve recycling. 

“The only small crumb of comfort from this is that we have a Green Minister who is resolute on her determination to deliver a deposit return scheme, having worked tirelessly to deliver something even the Tories now admit was always viable.

“The Scottish Greens remain committed to DRS and a whole range of protections to tackle the climate, nature and biodiversity crisis. We are relieved the Scottish Government has acted in those interests with this selfless decision making.

“However not only is the protection of our environment at stake, but the whole question of who runs Scotland is under the spotlight too. For people and for planet, we have to defend our environment and our democracy. 

“This cannot be the end of the road for the work of the Scottish Parliament. We must get rid of this Tory government and it is clear now more than ever, that the only route left for that is by campaigning for independence.”