Reloop joined the drinks industry and environmental charities to call on the UK Prime Minister to keep his party’s manifesto promise of including glass bottles in the UK’s deposit return system.
Dear Prime Minister,
As a group of manufacturers, retailers and environmental organisations, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for the government’s commitment to introduce a deposit return scheme in light of unsupported reports of its costs.
The UK Government has committed to a target of reaching Net Zero by 2050, a target that is supported by 72% of the public. For this to be achieved, stagnant recycling rates will need to rise significantly, and a deposit return will provide infrastructure to do just that at no cost to the taxpayer. More than 40 countries have successfully implemented a deposit return scheme, with the best designed seeing return rates of up to 98% as a result.
If drinks manufacturers and retailers are to reach Net Zero, they will need to reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging – the most effective way of achieving this is through the introduction of a deposit return scheme. Furthermore, many drinks manufacturers and retailers have made similar commitments and signed external pledges that are all conditional on deposit return being implemented and interoperable across the country. DRS is therefore a policy that should carry universal support.
We know the public want to play their part and only a deposit return scheme can provide the high-quality recycling needed to help the UK move towards a circular economy for drinks packaging. Recent polling carried out by YouGov on behalf of Keep Britain Tidy showed that two-thirds of the public support the introduction of a scheme.
Our country’s environment is paying the price for not having a better waste collection system for drinks containers, and implementing a deposit return scheme would reduce the littering of these items by 85%.
Given the widespread support for deposit return, we urge all governments of the UK to act in the interests of the environment and agree to implement an aligned and interoperable scheme in deposit level, timeline, scope and fees, thus giving all actors certainty and confidence the UK supply chain will not be compromised.
We know the government has the ambition to introduce a comprehensive deposit return scheme. We share this ambition and offer our support, as a collective, to realise it.