Despite the concerns of producers, Scotland's bottle return program will continue in August, according to the minister for the circular economy.
Businesses were urged by Lorna Slater to join the initiative before the month was out.
A 20p deposit on single-use beverage bottles and cans is part of the program's effort to increase recycling.
Critics of the industry, however, worry that it will stifle commerce, drive up costs, and limit options.
Ms. Slater responded, "Absolutely," when asked if it would still launch on August 16 in spite of all the cautions and criticism. For Scotland's deposit return program, everything is in motion.
"Our program is very similar to successful programs around the globe that, as you say, increase recycling but also accomplish that crucial task of reducing litter on our streets.
"Everyone has witnessed cans, bottles, and broken glass. The deposit return scheme is our response to the need to act in this regard. ".
In order to give businesses more time to recover from the pandemic, according to Ms. Slater, the scheme had already been postponed.
She also emphasized that the conversations to date had reduced producer costs and solved a VAT dispute with the UK government.
"I am aware there are still some outstanding concerns from small producers and importers, which I absolutely take seriously, and we are working through solutions to those as well," the minister continued. ".
Additionally, Ms. Slater defended the idea behind the "really exciting scheme," claiming that it transferred accountability for litter from the taxpayer to the producers.
A business that anticipates sales of, say, 10,000 units would be invoiced for £2,000 to cover the costs of recycling, Chris Jones of the beverage company Paragon Brands said earlier.
He claimed that producers in Australia receive retroactive invoices six weeks after their products are sold.
Mr. Jones, whose company imports brands for 12 nations worldwide, expressed concern about the project's inclusion of glass because the nation already has a "very successful glass recycling scheme.".
He also cautioned that due to the higher costs of producing labels with new barcodes for the Scottish market, the selection of products available to consumers in the craft beer sector could be reduced by up to 40%.
Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, pleaded with the Scottish government on Sunday to reconsider its signature recycling program.
Mr. Jack advised ministers to think about holding off until the rest of the UK adopts a unified strategy.
Speaking to the Scottish Mail on Sunday, he claimed that a UK-wide initiative, scheduled to begin in 2025, would maximize environmental benefits while causing the least amount of disruption to the drinks industry.
In partnership with the governments of Wales and Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs, the UK government scheme is about to go into effect.
If the deposit return scheme is implemented in Scotland this summer, it will be the first in the UK.
Originally presented in 2017, the plans were described by the Scottish government as "a step change in our level of ambition" for recycling.
The Covid pandemic was given the blame for the delay, which was first put off until July 2022 and then again until August of this year.
Critics in the beverage industry worry that the plan, which would force businesses to raise their prices north of the border, could stifle trade between Scotland and England.
The Scottish government's review of the program in December found that many problems "remain to be resolved" and that a "fully operational program cannot be in operation by August.".
Circularity Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland, and Sepa, an environmental agency, are all involved in the scheme's administration, design, and implementation.