Press releases

15 October 2019

Soft drinks industry welcomes Environment Bill announcement

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers today (15 October) discussed plans for the upcoming Environment Bill with a keynote speech at London Wetlands Centre.

The bill paves the way for the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) in England. Scotland is due to introduce a DRS in April 2021, and Villiers stated that she will "try" to implement the scheme in England sooner than the current scheduled date of 2023.

Gavin Partington, British Soft Drinks Association, said:

“We welcome today’s announcement regarding the introduction of an Environment Bill. The soft drinks industry has always taken recycling, littering and the environment very seriously. In addition, we have long been committed supporters of a GB-wide deposit return scheme (DRS), and are encouraged by the Environment Secretary's willingness to explore bringing forward the delivery date.

“We lead the industry in recyclable packaging, and our members’ plastic bottles and aluminium cans are 100% recyclable. We are pleased that recycling/recovery rates for drinks containers have increased over the years, but there is still room for improvement. Industry estimates suggest UK recycling collection rates of 74% for plastic drinks bottles, and 72% for aluminium drinks cans. A well-designed, GB-wide DRS would increase recycling rates above these levels. 

"A well-designed DRS would also improve the quality and increase the quantity of material collected for recycling and reuse as new packaging. This will support the aims of many producers to move to a truly more circular model for packaging, supporting bottle-to-bottle and can-to-can recycling, and towards the circular economy we all want to see."

For more information on DRS and the BSDA’s position, follow this link.