A TORY MSP was confronted with the "double standards" the UK Government has imposed on Scotland over its deposit return scheme - after ministers signed off on glass in the Welsh project. 

Maurice Golden, who previously called for glass to be included in the recycling scheme, was quizzed about the escalating row on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland (GMS).

The North East Scotland MSP was probed over the fact that Wales said it would include glass in its scheme back in January and has been given the sign-off by UK Tory ministers.

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But Golden insisted it was “up to the UK Government” whether or not the devolved government will be allowed to include glass. He also insisted Scotland could include glass in its DRS - if it complied with the Internal Markets Act. 

It comes after UK Government ministers wrote to First Minister Humza Yousaf on Friday evening and told him that in order for it to allow the scheme to proceed, it can only include PET plastic bottles, and aluminium and steel cans.

It is the latest development in a row over the Deposit Return Scheme, which circularity minister Lorna Slater branded as the UK Government showing “disregard for devolution” by imposing conditions on the Scottish scheme.

Wales, on the other hand, announced plans to include glass in its scheme back in January.

“The UK Government can’t impose a decision,” Golden said.

“The Scottish Government could decide, irrespective of the Internal Market Act, to roll out the Deposit Return Scheme as had been originally planned.”

He was asked if this would be with glass included.

“With glass in it if they so wished, it would need to comply with the Internal Market Act but it could be rolled out, yes.”

But Golden said he had “severe concerns” that the Scottish Government isn't “able” to roll out “any Deposit Return Scheme”.

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“They’ve shown that consistently they are unable to deliver basic tenets of the scheme.

“Removing glass at this stage simplifies the scheme, perhaps builds more confidence in the scheme and allows us to salvage some form of launch.

“Given the Scottish Government track record it is really concerning they can’t deliver an environmental policy such as this.”

The Welsh Government DRS will include glass and has been given the go-ahead by the UK Government.

But Golden said they have not applied for an exemption under the UK Internal Market Act.

Asked what the difference is between Scotland and Wales deposit returns, Golden said: “Firstly, the Welsh haven't requested an exemption under the Internal Market Act yet.

“And secondly, Wales will align with the rest of the UK and I think that is the number one ask from businesses.”

Asked if Wales will be told that it is not allowed an exemption for glass, Golden paused, before adding it was a “matter for the UK Government".

The Tory MSP was confronted by suggestions it would be “double standards” if glass was included in Wales but not Scotland.

Golden was lost for words and stumbled before adding: “The same aspects should apply across the UK, I completely agree with that. And what I would encourage … ”

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“Well what I would encourage the Scottish Government to do if they're going to include glass is come up with a workable plan,” he added.

“They're unable to come up with a workable plan in the deposit return scheme area.

“I have no confidence in them being able to deliver but certainly across the UK, every devolved nation should be treated exactly the same.”

Meanwhile Dr Pete Cheema of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation said its members had been put in a “precarious position” by the latest developments.

He told GMS that many grocers had already invested in reverse vending machines designed for glass, saying: “We’re going to be sitting with these machines that are of no use now because they’re not going to be able to take glass.

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“So that means that we need compensation from the Scottish Government – who we’ve asked time and time again to sort out.

“Now what we don’t want is another trial in Scotland like the poll tax.”

On Sunday, the Scottish Government minister responsible for DRS, Slater, told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show Westminster was starting to block the Scottish Government at “every turn”.

The Scottish Green MSP told the BBC’s Sunday Show: “We should absolutely be using the powers of devolution to prevent waste and litter, to tackle environmental issues and social issues.

“That’s what it’s for.

“Westminster is starting to block us at every turn, on equalities issues, on environmental issues, this is a disastrous way forward and is disrespectful to Scotland.”