Press release - DRS consultation responses

Date: 20 January 2023

NAWDO press release – Deposit Return Scheme consultation responses

Friday 20th January 2023


NAWDO welcomes the release of the Government’s response to the consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme, as it provides more information on this proposal after a long delay following the consultation in 2021.  However, NAWDO’s members remain concerned about the lack of further information on the Consistency proposals and would encourage the Government to expedite the release of a response to the 2021 consultation on that issue.

NAWDO would also highlight that there appears to be little focus or priority on achieving better environmental and economic outcomes for the UK through a reduction in waste generation, with the response to the 2021 consultation on a revised Waste Prevention Programme for England also still outstanding.

NAWDO remains of the view that a DRS should be considered only once the Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility regime has been put in place and allowed to demonstrate its impact across the supply chain and resources sector.  Local authorities, producers and other key stakeholders will need to work closely together to ensure that EPR is successful, and the rollout of a DRS will cause available resources to be diverted.  If a DRS is to be pursued, NAWDO believes that the Government should give further urgent consideration to a digital solution as an alternative approach, as this will make use of existing infrastructure for collection services from homes and businesses without requiring the disruption, expenditure and material use necessary for the fabrication and installation of reverse vending machines.

Finally, NAWDO would highlight that the proposals set out in the Government’s DRS response do not fully address the impacts on local authorities.  The in-scope materials will not be covered by EPR payments, and yet local authorities will continue to face costs in managing any unreturned drinks containers.  Local authorities will also face a loss in their reported recycling performance, and as such NAWDO would urge the Government to require the sharing of performance data by the DMO at a local level.