UK's Deposit Return Scheme to Launch in October 2027: A Boost for Recycling and Hospitality Sector

Monday, April 29, 2024

The long-awaited UK Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is set to launch in October 2027, with a focus on promoting the recycling of plastic drink bottles, steel and aluminium cans.

2025 implementation postponed to 2027 for UK-wide alignment on drink container deposit scheme.

"I'm pleased that all governments across the UK have listened to the concerns of UKHospitality and will be pursuing schemes that ensure maximum alignment and interoperability across the UK."

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality

Countries like Germany, Finland, and Norway have already successfully implemented similar schemes, and the UK aims to join them in this sustainability effort.

The DRS will cover PET plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, with glass excluded due to lower consumption rates.

Without involving glass containers, experts predict a reduction of up to 85% in drink container waste within the next three years due to DRS implementation.

As Scotland prepares to launch its DRS, it will mimic the practices of established schemes. In contrast, Wales plans to make glass a part of its collection process.

The delay allows businesses time to prepare for the change and implement necessary adjustments like installing reverse vending machines or reconfiguring stores.

Manufacturers, including major food and drink brands, welcome this announcement as a significant step towards their recycling goals.

A group of high-ranking officials from the Food and Drink Federation, Britvic plc, Coca-Cola, Suntory Beverage & Food Great Britain and Ireland, Danone UK & Ireland, and Veolia Northern Europe Zone have publicly declared their support for the Deposit Return Scheme.

Their collective aim is to create a well-designed deposit return system that will help achieve their recycling targets while minimizing any negative impact on businesses.

Through effective collaboration between the involved parties, including governments across England, Scotland, and Wales, these key players aim to establish interoperable deposit return systems, fostering a unified and consistent methodology for managing materials covered by the scheme.

The DRS (Deposit Return Scheme) relies on a common approach for success, enhancing the system's effectiveness and reducing litter.