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UK Bottle Deposit Return Scheme

28 March 2018 / by James Piper (author) / Bristol
Photograph courtesy of George Becker. (photo: George Becker)
Photograph courtesy of George Becker. / (photo: George Becker)

James Piper, managing director of waste compliance firm Ecosurety, comments on the bottle return scheme announced by the United Kingdom government today.

The scheme is expected to cover single-use glass, plastic bottles and steel and aluminium cans.

Piper says: 

“ We welcome in principle any initiative aimed at improving UK recycling, however the real question now is whether the UK has the correct infrastructure, i.e capacity inside its recycling plants, to deal with the increase in glass, plastic and steel and aluminium cans that will be generated from such a scheme.  We don’t want to see a situation whereby millions more tonnes of plastic are collected but sit dormant in warehouses, or worse, outside exposed to the elements, because there is nowhere inside the UK to recycle them. 


“We agree with the position adopted by Defra’s own Voluntary and Economics Incentives Group, which suggests that the success of any deposit scheme will very much depend on the type chosen, that it needs to be well-designed and drawn up in consultation with businesses, in order to capture high quality material and provide a benefit.


“The Government needs to create a transparent, joined up recycling system so that the consumer can see exactly what happens when they recycle their plastic bottles or drinks cans, to maintain faith that everything the UK collects is recycled. “



James Piper


James Piper

James Piper is managing director of Ecosurety (<a href="http://www.ecosurety.com">www.ecosurety.com</a>), a leading compliance scheme with more than 1,000 UK customers, including The Co-operative Group, Innocent and Virgin Media, Ecosurety supports efficient and more transparent investment in UK recycling projects via infrastructure, innovation and consumer awareness campaigns. Committed to reducing the environmental impact of businesses, and to a tangible increase in UK recycling, Ecosurety helps producers organise quality evidence to ensure they comply with packaging, WEEE, batteries and international regulations.

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