Tuesday’s announcement by the UK’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove that he is backing a comprehensive Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers has been welcomed by reverse vending machine manufacturer, TOMRA Collection Solutions.
In possibly his last major speech as Environment Secretary, Gove threw his weight behind an ‘all-in’ recycling system that covers every size of drinks bottle and cans across a broad range of packaging materials. Speaking at Kew Gardens he said:
“We need to work with business to make deposit return schemes as effective as possible and I believe an “all-in” deposit return scheme will give consumers the greatest possible incentive to recycle…
“We will ensure producers pay the full cost of disposing of their packaging. At the moment, producers currently pay only 10% of the cost of household waste. We will make them responsible for 100% of the net cost incurred in dealing with their waste.”
Managing Director of TOMRA Collection Solutions UK & Ireland Truls Haug welcomed the speech:
“It is fantastic to see the case for a comprehensive deposit return scheme for bottles gathering pace with Mr Gove’s fresh backing.
“We fully support his belief that an ‘all-in’ scheme covering the full range of sizes and materials would give ‘a clearer financial and social signal to recycle’ while underlining the message that urgent action is required in order to combat climate change.
“It’s particularly pleasing that England is taking a similar approach to Scotland, which has taken a lead on DRS in recent times with its circular economy strategy that aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible.
“We firmly believe that a comprehensive DRS model that is convenient and easy to use will achieve the best return rates.
“The system safeguards material quality, ensuring containers can be recycled back into new bottles and cans - reducing the reliance on the raw materials needed to make new containers, and waste ending up in landfills or in nature as litter.”
TOMRA added that it has already operated a number of deposit return trials with retailers across the UK and is ready to assist businesses as they prepare themselves for the introduction of a DRS.
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Under Scotland’s deposit return scheme consumers will pay a 20p deposit when they buy a drink in a single-use container. They get that back when they return the empty bottle or can to be recycled.
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