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Deposit Return Scheme

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Leonie Cooper Leonie Cooper Labour

What discussions have you had with Government to make progress on London becoming a trial location for their Deposit Return Scheme, as the Assembly called for in July 2019 and the Environment Committee called for in its April 2017 report on single-use plastic water bottles?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

We responded to the Defra consultation on introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in May of last year following the publication of the national Resources and Waste Strategy. In that response I strongly supported the implementation of a well designed DRS that includes the widest possible application and widest possible range of materials and is fully aligned and synchronised with more consistent recycling services and a greater role for producer responsibility.

Prior to the publication of the Resources and Waste Strategy GLA officers offered for London to host a trial deposit return scheme. This offer was not taken up as Defra stated they were not looking to establish a trial at that stage. At the time of the consultation Defra made it clear they still did not wish to develop a trial, preferring to develop a nation-wide approach.

However, in my response I made it clear that London’s local authorities are well positioned to facilitate a network of DRS infrastructure and that London’s local authorities should be seen as a key partner of any DRS management organisation.