Companies are likely to get only a fraction of more than £70 million they are estimated to be owed from the SNP and Green government’s collapsed flagship recycling initiative.

The deposit return scheme (DRS) was shutdown last June after months of complaints from businesses that it would not work and after they spent millions setting up systems and hiring staff to manage it.

Among the creditors is the state-owned Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) which so far has received only £1m of the £9m it had lent to the scheme’s administrator Circularity Scotland which was put into administration.

The waste management specialist Biffa, which set up processing depots and order collection vehicles, is said to be owed £65m. A German software firm, Reverse Logistics, has an unpaid bill of £5m.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.