The chief executive of the company which is overseeing Scotland’s controversial deposit return scheme (DRS) will receive a salary of £300,000, it has been reported.
David Harris and other executives at Circularity Scotland Ltd will receive a combined £670,000 in annual salary and fees, the Scotland on Sunday newspaper reported.
The company was set up as a non-profit by the Scottish Government to administer the DRS, an initiative to boost recycling of empty containers.
It involves shoppers paying an extra 20p when purchasing drinks in a can or bottle, with the deposit returned when they bring back the empty container for recycling.
Industry figures have criticised the scheme, and two of the SNP leadership candidates – Kate Forbes and Ash Regan – have said it should be rethought or put on hold.
Humza Yousaf has said small producers should initially be exempt.
Fergus Ewing, an SNP MSP who has been a vocal critic of the DRS, told the newspaper: “The public will ultimately be the payers for the costs of this scheme, including the salaries of its bosses, with the costs of beverages rising by far more than 20 pence.”
He continued: “The payments to the CEO and chair are simply outrageous because the scheme is a disaster and, unless halted, will become a certain catastrophe.
“Calls to halt the scheme are now coming from every sector of business impacted.
“Circularity Scotland has totally failed to understand how the current system of recycling works and perhaps that is because they failed to listen to – or even meet – those who know most about it. Some major players were not afforded meetings, others did not get replies to requests to meet.”
Circular economy minister Lorna Slater has insisted the DRS will launch in August as planned.
The company is funded by industry rather than government, and ministers say they have no involvement in the recruitment of staff or their pay levels.
Circularity Scotland said: “This information was included in an email to all Circularity Scotland members.
“We can confirm that as a private, not-for-profit company, we communicate all senior executive salary information to our members and benchmark these against similar post in the industry.
“The deposit return scheme is one of the largest environmental infrastructure schemes ever established in the UK and the executive team have been appointed due to their unrivalled expertise in developing and implementing large-scale projects of this nature.”
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