Deposit Return Scheme announcement raises worries for packaging industry

Press Release

Packaging and plastic industry voices have communicated alert over the deposit return scheme (DRS) announced for Scotland.

In response of the plan for aluminum and steel cans and beverages containers made of glass and PET plastic, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has issued a note of caution.

While not restricted to the measure, the BPF brought up zones where it feels DRS could have an unfriendly effect if not executed cautiously.

“A comprehensive deposit return scheme (DRS) that includes all materials is to be welcomed if it boosts recycling rates and encourages a culture where everybody recycles as much as possible and creates less waste,” read a BPF statement.

“However, we need to introduce these schemes carefully so they do not significantly raise the price of products, disadvantage smaller retailers or cause major disruption to existing recycling schemes. The UK has established kerbside collection schemes, unlike any other country to implement a DRS, which will need time to adapt if a DRS significantly alters the quantities of key materials collected from the home. A DRS is also less exposed to fraud or being undermined if it is nationwide with consistent labelling.

“In light of the above and the fact that reforms to extended producer responsibilities are currently being examined, it makes sense to aim to implement a UK-wide, multi-material DRS once extended producer responsibilities have been clarified and any complications that arise in Scotland have been resolved.

“We hope implementing this multi-material scheme in Scotland goes smoothly, increases investment in its recycling and waste management infrastructure, and sets a fine example for what can be achieved across the UK.”

More concerns were communicated by Cambridgeshire-based inflexible plastic packaging manufacturer Charpak, featuring another way it trusted it could have a negative impact.

The company, which has as of late assembled a confined roundabout economy activity to boost plastic packaging recycling in the county, told Packaging News plastic bottles were always in high demand because of the quality of the PET.

Consequently, according to Charpak managing director Paul Smith, any DRS will be ‘designed’ to help soft drinks brands more than plastic packaging companies.

“Soft drinks brands want to implement the DRS so they can get that valuable virgin-rich plastic back. This is a concern for us. We are against a DRS because it might leave us limited for the amount of plastic bottles that we can get hold of to recycle.”

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