Have you heard about the new plastic bottle deposit return scheme coming to the UK?
If not, don’t worry – this is everything you need to know…
- What is the plastic bottle deposit return scheme UK?
- What are the plastic bottle deposit return scheme regulations?
- When will the deposit return scheme start in England?
- Drinks industry sustainability: preparing for the future in FMCG
What is the plastic bottle deposit return scheme UK?
After initially being promised five years ago, a deposit return scheme is due to be introduced in England.
Modelled on similar initiatives that have proved popular in Europe, the scheme will incentivise supermarket shoppers to return empty plastic bottles to designated return points and receive a small cash despot in return.
It has plenty of potential; in Germany, return rates are as high as 98%. This has helped to increase recycling rates and reduce littering, and it’s hoped that the UK will enjoy similar results.
However, following delays and the sudden exclusion of glass from the scheme, environmental campaigners have branded the approach “a huge missed opportunity”.
Still, it’s sure to mark an important step on the UK’s journey towards a more sustainable future, for retailers and consumers alike.
What are the plastic bottle deposit return scheme regulations?
When the deposit return scheme is introduced, anyone who buys a bottled drink will be charged a small deposit. To recover this deposit, consumers must return their drinks container to a designated collection point. The plastic will then go on to be recycled.
It is not yet clear whether all retailers that sell bottled drinks will have to have a return point. Regardless, it’s a good chance for supermarkets, hospitality retailers, and online retailers to prepare themselves for the change and get involved.
It also hasn’t been confirmed exactly what materials will be included in the scheme for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, though, a 20p deposit will be applied to drinks in the following containers:
- PET bottles.
- Steel cans.
- Aluminium cans.
- Glass drinks bottles.
All drinks containers made from these materials with a 50ml to 3 litre capacity are to be included.
When will the deposit return scheme start in England?
A start date for England’s deposit return scheme is still due to be finalised. However, the scheme’s introduction has been confirmed for 2024. Some anticipate that the scheme won’t come into full effect until later in the year.
Meanwhile, the deposit return scheme in Scotland is due to get underway in August of this year.
Drinks industry sustainability: preparing for the future in FMCG
All drinks brands and both on-trade and off-trade retailers should be prepared for coming sustainability initiatives.
If the UK is to meet its Net Zero target by 2050, all industries have their part to play.
Make sure your business is ready to take the steps it needs to, get ahead of the curve.
Find talent that has the right experience and skillset to drive your business towards a more profitable, greener future.
We are experts at sourcing and engaging talent that not only aligns with your goals but enhances them!
Are you in the market for FMCG talent that understands sustainability in your sector?
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