Two Scottish Labour MSPs have written to SNP leadership candidate Humza Yousaf asking for a commitment to reconsider the operation of the Deposit Return Scheme to avoid discrimination of disabled people.
Pam Duncan Glancy, MSP for the Glasgow Region and Colin Smyth MSP, the party’s spokesperson on Net Zero, Energy and Transport have highlighted concerns that consideration has not been given to how disabled people will access the scheme which could lead to them paying more for drinks and other items.
There is currently no provision within the scheme to assist those who cannot leave their homes or who are physically unable to carry recycling to return points.
Glasgow City Council have also announced in response to the scheme that they will no longer collect kerbside recycling, which could prevent disabled people from recycling at all.
Humza Yousaf is the only candidate who intends to proceed with rolling out the controversial scheme, while Ash Regan and Kate Forbes have both promised to bin the DRS.
Commenting, Pam Duncan Glancy MSP said
“It’s clear to me that very little thought has been given to how disabled people and older people will be able to participate in the Deposit Return Scheme, and that disabled people in Glasgow will be disproportionately impacted by the scheme.
“Disabled people already have disproportionately lower incomes and are more likely to live in poverty than non-disabled people – in the midst of a Cost of Living Crisis it would be criminal to introduce a scheme that would take money out of my constituents pockets.
“It’s unfair to expect that carers will be able to assist in the return of containers – many are already stretched to breaking point. Taking on the additional responsibility could mean having to sacrifice other vital help they provide.
“Humza Yousaf has been clear that he intends to proceed with the scheme if he is elected. We are urging him to listen to the concerns of disabled people and ensure that provisions are in place to make sure that they are not unfairly penalised.”