The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an enquiry into the introduction of deposit return schemes (DRS) in England and across the UK.
Deposit Return Schemes are common in other European countries and allow consumers to return their packaging, common items being plastic bottles, for a small deposit. The government wishes to see a DRS in England to decrease littering and increase recycling rates, as part of the UK’s Resources and Waste Strategy.
Launching the inquiry on the 12th February, ahead of the consultations that are expected in the coming months, the government is hoping to roll out a DRS across England by 2023. The focus of the inquiry will be around the final design of a DRS for England and the introduction of UK-wide DRS, how this will be contributing to the ambitious targets set out the Environment Bill and integrated into the Resources and Waste Strategy.
Have your say
The EAC in inviting written submissions from stakeholders, with a deadline of 5th March 2021, about the follow aspects:
- The types of waste to be collected under the scheme.
- The materials to be included in the scheme’s scope.
- Scheme design (‘all-in’, ‘on-the-go’ or other models) and the level and scale of deposit charges.
- The obligations on retailers at all levels (including online-only retailers) to participate in the scheme.
- The effect on scheme design of recent changes in patterns of retail activity.
- The impact of any scheme on existing reuse and recycling and reuse systems.
- The impact of any scheme on local authority kerbside collections and on local authority revenue streams dependent on the value chain of recyclables.
If you are a packaging producer that will be impacted by the introduction of DRS, you now have an opportunity to submit your feedback prior to the final design being announced.
The second round of consultations for the Resources and Waste Strategy are expected in the coming months. As well as a consultation about DRS and the above changes, it will include consultations for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Consistency in Collections.
This will change the resources and waste sector and the legislation for all stakeholders across the industry, from reprocesses and exporters, through to packaging producers and councils. For anyone currently obligated by the packaging regulations, the changes will increase the cost of compliance and may change your data reporting and administrative burden. To prepare for these changes get in touch with a member of our team who can advise and guide you through the coming changes.