My Lords, I thank all noble Lords who have spoken in support of our amendments. As I said in my opening remarks, there is already considerable evidence from Europe that deposit return schemes drive up recycling levels of bottles and cans and thereby cut back on litter and landfill. That point was echoed by the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, and the noble Viscount, Lord Trenchard, among others. The noble Viscount, Lord Trenchard, rightly highlighted the success of Germany and the fact that it has been organised on a unitary basis across the German state—there are lessons to be learned from that.
The noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, latterly put the question about the affluent and the less affluent. It is true that, once you put a small value on an empty bottle, people will be less inclined casually to throw it away, and even if some individual cannot be bothered to collect the deposit, there will always be others who will pick it up for that reason. However you go about it, it will undoubtedly reduce levels of litter and drive up recycling.
I agree, of course, with the noble Viscount, Lord Colville, and others that what we need is an all-in scheme for it to be really successful.
There is no reason why this scheme cannot be operational by
I thought the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, made a sensible point about deposit fees having to vary with the size of the container. I understand some of the complexities around that, but we need to make sure that we are not incentivising a switch to plastic that might otherwise occur.
The noble Viscount, Lord Trenchard, raised the issue of small producers and small breweries, and I agree that there need to be arrangements for start-ups and new businesses. There are, of course, many small drinks companies bringing new products on to the market—indeed, many of them are promoting healthy drinks. I am not convinced that small breweries need a special exemption, but I understand the point he makes. Of course, the scheme is not intended to place an extra burden on small businesses, and we have all said that it needs to be simple and straightforward to administer. I would have thought that all those companies—the breweries and other small producers—would welcome schemes that prevent their empty containers becoming litter or landfill just as much as anyone else. I remind noble Lords—some of us have been around for rather a long time—that we had bottle deposit schemes in the past, so in a sense this is nothing new.
I listened carefully to the Minister’s response, but nothing he said explains why we cannot have a DRS by
I will, therefore, reflect on the Minister’s comments, but I hope he has heard the strength of feeling around the Chamber today: people want action on this, and they want it quickly. In the meantime, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment 133 withdrawn.
Amendments 133A to 138A not moved.
Schedule 8 agreed.
Clause 54 agreed.
Schedule 9: Charges for single use plastic items
Amendment 139 not moved.
Schedule 9 agreed.
Clause 55 agreed.
Amendments 140 to 141A not moved.
Clause 56: Separation of waste
Amendments 142 to 145 not moved.