The British Soft Drinks Association supports the introduction of a well-designed GB-wide full deposit return scheme (DRS) for all PET plastic and can beverage containers up to 3 litres in size, as our assessment suggests this is the best way to increase recycling levels and tackle litter.


We want a consistent system introduced across Great Britain, as we believe separate systems in Scotland, England and Wales would undermine the success and viability of any DRS.

Full DRS

We support a full-scale, industry-wide operation, based on the well-designed Nordic schemes.

We believe a DRS should cover all beverage containers sold – not just those consumed ‘on-the-go’ – and therefore support the so-called ‘all-in’ model proposed in the UK Government’s Resource & Waste Strategy. This will drive recycling rates and reduce litter and ensure a workable scheme for both consumers and the Operating Company running the scheme alike.

We also think this will provide a higher quality and quantity of food-grade materials for recycling than currently collected from households and street level bins.

Plastic and cans

A GB-wide DRS should focus on the key materials: PET bottles and cans, which can easily be collected together and account for the majority of drinks containers sold in the UK.

Adding glass, pouches, cartons or cups will increase the cost and complexity of the scheme, damage the quality of the more valuable materials and may present issues for retailers.


Drinks cans and plastic bottles are 100% recyclable and can be turned back into soft drinks packaging or made into other useful products. A successful DRS would reduce the burden on using virgin materials, and encourage more bottle-to-bottle recycling.