With Scottish DRS due to begin on 16th August 2022, Defra has now announced that the scheme for the rest of the UK will be introduced in October 2025.
The UK government will work with the devolved administrations, and industry to press ahead with delivery of the scheme. The response to the consultation, published on 20 January 2023, showed that 83% of respondents were in favour of the new system.
In discussing the scheme, the Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:
"We want to support people who want to do the right thing to help stop damaging plastics polluting our green spaces or floating in our oceans and rivers."
"That is why we are moving ahead using our powers from our landmark Environment Act to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers."
"This will provide a simple and effective system across the country that helps people reduce litter and recycle more easily, even when on the move."
Defra said the announcement moved the scheme “a step closer”, but it indicated that the programme could yet slip back further, describing October 2025 as “a stretching target date”.
Following the announcement, focus now turns to bringing the legislation forward, and beginning the appointment of the deposit management organisation. This organisation is an independent, industry-led body, which will be established to run the scheme. This organisation will then manage the process and set the amount for the refundable deposit.
Tackling waste, one step at a time.
DRS is just the latest step being taken by the UK government to tackle plastic waste. W/C 16 January 2023 the UK government announced that it will be introducing a ban on single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, which will be expanded to include extruded polystyrene food and drinks containers, including cups in England from October 2023.
The UK government has already introduced a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, restrictions on the supply of single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds, and the world-leading Plastic Packaging Tax introduced in 2022.
If you're in Scotland and looking for a solution for the incumbent DRS legislation or if you're looking to get ahead and start your journey toward net zero, then get in touch to look at your options.