Government response to the Deposit Return Scheme consultation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written statement – made on 20th January 2023.

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Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is publishing its response to the 2021 consultation on Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

The consultation confirmed strong public backing, with 83% of respondents including key industry players expressing support for a Deposit Return Scheme for single-use drinks containers. We will proceed with the scheme that covers cans and plastic bottles. The Deposit Return Scheme will boost recycling, significantly reduce drinks containers littered in our environment, and promote a circular economy by making it easier for consumers to recycle. The scheme aims to ensure 85% fewer drinks containers are discarded as litter after three years of its launch.

Today’s publication is a critical milestone as it triggers the start for work towards introducing the Deposit Return Scheme in October 2025

Government will take secondary legislation through Parliament to establish the necessary framework and obligations. The Welsh government will take legislation through the Senedd. This will be an industry led scheme, and we will work collaboratively with the relevant sectors to enable industry to establish the organisation, systems and infrastructure to operate a Deposit Return Scheme that will provide a step change in how we manage our waste.