Environment Bill - Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 5th July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Carrington Lord Carrington Crossbench 2:45 pm, 5th July 2021

My Lords, I add my support to Amendment 134 proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett of Manor Castle. She has put the case for a variable rate dependent on container size most forcefully. There is nothing I can add without repetition, so I would like the Minister to comment on the reason given by the Minister, Rebecca Pow, in the other place. When she gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, Rebecca Pow, who is the Minister responsible for the DRS, said that the department was inclined to introduce a variable rate of deposit.

However, Defra currently wants to leave it to the scheme administrator to make the ultimate decision. The concern is that the administrator may not assess the need for a variable deposit independently and impartially, as it will be run by the industry itself, with all its vested interest to take into account. Can the Minister assure us of the independence of the administrator and how the appointment process for the administrator will work? A variable rate should be mandated in the legislation at this stage to avoid these potential problems.