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A Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) planned for England

Jul 9, 2019

On 28th March 2018, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme in England for single use drinks containers (whether plastic, glass or metal), subject to consultation.

The deposit return scheme aims to increase recycling rates and slash the amount of waste polluting our land and seas.

Similar schemes already operate in countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The scheme sees consumers pay an up-front deposit when they purchase a drink, ranging from 8p in Sweden to 22p in Germany, which is redeemed on return of the empty drink container. Possible variants of a deposit return scheme include cash rewards for returning empty drinks containers without an upfront deposit.

The RDS is often done through a network of ‘reverse vending machines’, where you insert your plastic or glass bottle or can and the machine returns your money. Once a bottle is returned, businesses are then responsible for making sure they are effectively recycled – a move that has led to a 97% recycling rate in Germany.

Source: Gov.UK –

The Problem

Plastic pollution is becoming a major issue, not only in the UK but Worldwide. Some plastic is good as it can be recycled and reused, however the main concern is single use plastic which is used only once and then discarded and is resistant to many natural processes of degradation.

UK consumers use an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than 3 billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: “We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans. It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.”


The Solution

recyclever® provides the ideal solution to start to support a circular economy.

Following receipt of the Voluntary and Economics Incentives Working Group Report on single use drinks containers, Defra is now developing plans for a Deposit Return Scheme in England.

There is some evidence from other countries that well-designed and well-run deposit return schemes can deliver an estimated increase of around 20% in the reported amount of beverage containers collected for recycling and deliver a better quality of captured material.

We at recyclever® recognise the importance reverse vending machines will play in supporting the UK Government to implement a successful Deposit Return System (DRS).

Our quality cost effective reverse vending machines can be customised to meet Government specifications and provide a mechanism for consumers to deposit their single use plastic bottles and aluminium cans in return for a reward.

We are sure recyclever® reverse vending machines can help the UK Government deliver the positive results everyone needs to secure a safe and healthy future for everyone.

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