Article | UK Deposit Return Scheme - delay to implementation but further details provided

29th March 2021

Background: Deposit return scheme

The UK government had intended to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (“DRS”) from 2023 on the back of a public consultation in 2019 which indicated strong support for such a scheme. However in view of the COVID pandemic the Government has issued a second consultation to explore whether there is still support for a DRS and if so how best to design it.

The Government acknowledges that there will need to be a delay in the implementation of such a scheme and accordingly it would only be introduced (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) in late 2024 at the earliest.

Across the UK, consumers go through an estimated 14 billion plastic drinks bottles, 9 billion drinks cans and 5 billion glass bottles a year and it is clear the current recycling rates could be increased.

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