The summary of results from Defra’s consultation into a deposit return scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland has been welcomed by world-leading reverse vending company, TOMRA Collection Solutions. 

Feedback from the consultation, which took place between February and May this year and received more than 208,000 responses, was published on 23 July 2019 and revealed strong public backing for an ‘all in’ DRS.

Managing Director of TOMRA Collection Solutions UK & Ireland Truls Haug says: “It is very encouraging to see such a groundswell of support from the public for a comprehensive DRS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with 84% of respondents agreeing with the proposed principles. 

“We are pleased to see strong backing for the inclusion of a broad range of materials, including PET, cans and glass, in the scheme to allow the biggest positive impact on the environment.

“69% of respondents indicated that they favour an ‘all in’ model including larger containers, as opposed to ‘on the go’ only, which we are delighted to see. The Government has indicated that this could mean all containers up to three litres in size are included, which is very positive as we strongly believe that a comprehensive DRS model that is convenient and easy to use will achieve the best return rates and increase high quality recycling.

“The Government has stated in its summary that its ambition is to strive for regulatory consistency across the UK when it comes to DRS. This is promising given the Scottish Government has already laid out its plans for a comprehensive, ‘all in’ model with a deposit amount designed to be as incentivising as possible. 

“Based on our global experience we believe a DRS will help see the return of over 90 per cent of drinks containers for recycling within just two years of the scheme being introduced in the UK, and we are pleased to see that timings for the roll-out of a DRS remain on track for 2023. We look forward to the next stage in the process and to hearing further details of the planned scheme. 

“This demonstration of such strong public support for DRS is another important step in turning off the tap on plastic pollution in the UK.”

TOMRA is currently operating a number of deposit return trials with retailers across the UK and is ready to assist more businesses as they prepare themselves for the introduction of a DRS.