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DRS Consultation

Consultations/Regulation Review

Deposit Return Scheme - UK

DRS Consultation - the second round of packaging consultations, including for a Deposit Return Scheme in the UK, were delayed until 2021.

What is a Deposit Return Scheme?

  • A deposit is placed on an item at the point of sale 
  • The deposit is then returned when the consumer returns the empty packaging back to a store or collection point

The first DRS consultation closed in May 2019 and you can read the government's summary of responses / next steps HERE

On Monday 24 March 2021 the second consultation for introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was launched. This consultation will focus on the implementation of a DRS with the aim of reducing littering, boosting recycling levels and moving towards a more circular economy. The consultation will run for a 10-week period, instead of the 12 weeks expected, closing on 4 June 2021.

You can view full consultation details and respond to government on the following links:

This is likely to be the last opportunity to formally feedback to government on a range of changes that will have significant implications for the future of waste management and recycling in the UK.

What is it and when will it take effect?

  • Deposit placed on drink containers at point of retail sale in England and Wales
  • Deposit can be reclaimed by consumer upon return of empty container
  • Likely to have impact on littering reduction and theoretical waste value chain benefits
  • Cost implications concerning – majority of cost benefit relies on “Disamenity of Litter”
  • Disamenity makes up £986m a year of benefits £1098m theorised benefit
  • Planned for introduction from 2023

To find out more about this consultation, please contact our Policy Team on 01756 706577 or email at consultation@complydirect.com

Our Policy Leader Martin Hyde provides a quick video summary of what a deposit return scheme is, what the current standing is on these in the UK and also the potential impacts of a deposit return scheme on businesses.