IT seems rather ironic that, regardless of which of the three candidates becomes First Minister, the deposit return scheme is itself heading for the political recycling bin. How and when it will re-emerge is far from clear.

The Scottish Government recently tried to prop up the scheme to the tune of another £22 million. By August 16 every Scottish business that sells single-use drinks cans or bottles will be expected to have a take-back scheme in place. There was clearly never any prospect of this happening.

READ MORE: FM urges businesses to sign up for Deposit Return Scheme amid calls for delay

Green MSPs who still appear at times to control the Scottish Government’s policy agenda were accusing SNP MSP Fergus Ewing of “doing the bidding” of Alister Jack when he raised genuine concerns about the scheme. Ross Greer, Green MSP for West Scotland, said: “I thought former government ministers becoming mouthpieces for big business was a Tory thing, but Fergus has always been a trailblazer” and Green MSP Mark Ruskell, his party’s environment spokesperson, said Ewing was “doing the bidding for Viceroy Jack again.”

It seems very clear that the scheme is not ready to roll out. The day-one charge for producers who choose not to introduce Scotland-specific barcodes has now been removed as well as the month-one charge on deposit and producer fees for all businesses up to a threshold of three million units. Two-month credit terms are also being made available to all producers regardless of their size. Self-adhesive barcode labels will be accepted for producers placing less than 25,000 units of a specific product on the shelves each year.

READ MORE: Shona Craven: Will the deposit return scheme clean up Scotland's beauty spots?

Green minister Lorna Slater told any media outlet that would listen that the scheme was all ready to start on August 16. She made no mention then that another £22m of taxpayers' cash was need to virtually bribe businesses to take part and that major changes to the scheme were needed. Ms Slater appears to have misled the public, the media and possibly the Scottish Parliament. Mr Ewing is due an apology.

This whole policy is symptomatic of the Scottish Greens. A good idea badly thought out and impossible to implement in its original form. Anyone for a heat pump?

Brian Lawson

WHAT kind of stupid dunce is George Foulkes becoming? He should get an IQ test pretty soon as he doesn’t seem to understand what he’s doing in Westminster!

Yes, there could well be a group of smart weans collecting bottles in England and bringing them over the border to sell back to the shops to get their 20p per bottle/can. After all, boys used to collect empty lemonade bottles way back when George was still wearing short trousers, and take them to the local paper shop for their 3d (1p) per bottle. The problem was you could never hold too many at one time so you were limited to how much you could carry. Also, if you tried to take in too many to one shop, the shopkeeper quizzed you as to where you got them – and hopefully it wasn’t from the stack he had waiting to be collected by the supplier.

READ MORE: 'Disgraceful' Labour peer urges Tories to use Section 35 to block deposit scheme

So how much does George think these young enterprising English lads are going to make? A return bus fare over the border (as English school weans don’t get free bus travel and bus fares are not cheap nowadays), carrying maybe a carrier bag of empties. At best maybe two dozen bottles, so that would make £4.80 at best less travel expenses. Boys are always hungry, so any food bought on the trip would have to be taken into the equation. Enterprising shopkeepers always made sure you spent the money in their shop, and I doubt if that will change much today!

Somehow I don’t think that the maths will add up to a profit. Maybe George doesn’t realise that beer bottles in some parts of Europe have always carried a deposit, but I have yet to hear of anybody collecting German beer bottles to return, they just go into the glass recycling bin.

May I make a suggestion, George: try growing up and start to wear long trousers instead of short trousers! Then maybe learn that Westminster – including the Lords of which you are a member – is about making laws for the whole of the United Kingdom, so instead of trying to stop the bottle return scheme, you should try getting it introduced into the whole of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

Alexander Potts

HAPLESS Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tells the people of Northern Ireland that they are in a “unique position” in having privileged access to the UK home market and the EU single market, and exhorts inward investment to benefit from this. Yes, that’s what he said!

Wasn’t that the position we all enjoyed as members of the EU? So, if it’s a great position for Northern Ireland to be in, why wasn’t it also an enviable position for the whole of the UK; one Scots recognised by voting overwhelmingly to remain in the EU?

READ MORE: Experts rule out Scotland EU access after Northern Ireland Brexit deal

Sunak is nuts for this clear contradiction. The Tories are nuts for driving the worst policy the UK Westminster government ever inflicted on us. Starmer and his red Tory party are nuts for blindly supporting his Tory establishment buddies and for lacking the common sense to oppose it.

Sunak’s statement over his “deal” proudly declares the truth that the best deal all along was the Remain deal. So, why isn’t the UK rejoining the EU? At least Scotland can with indy. This Northern Ireland deal shows us how.

Jim Taylor

OK, it’s time to get tough with the UK Government. Let’s stop talking about who has a willy and who hasn’t, or money back on the empties. The SNP should immediately claim parity with Northern Ireland and seek access to the Windsor framework.

To deny us this would be discriminatory, as Scotland is the only country in this “precious Union” which has not got what it voted for with regard to the European Union.

Kenny Burnett