UK political parties urged to back DRS in manifestos

The coalition of environmental organisations in the UK reports that public opinion on deposit return schemes (DRS) is overwhelmingly positive. They are urging political parties to include plans for tackling the waste crisis in their manifestos for the 2024 General Election.

The DRS, which will be introduced across the UK in 2027, involves placing a small deposit on drinks bottles and cans to encourage recycling.

Research by the non-profit Reloop shows that 69% of the public supports the implementation of a DRS and looks to the government to take action on waste. Conservative voters show 77% support, Labour voters show 69% support, and Liberal Democrat voters show 71% support for the DRS.

Polling also indicates that 89% of the public believes that the national government has at least a fair amount of responsibility for recycling. Among Labour voters, the main motivation for supporting a DRS is the creation of a monetary incentive to drive recycling (50%). For Liberal Democrat and Conservative voters, the primary motivation is the benefit of waste reduction through minimising single-use container waste.

Countries like Germany, Norway, and Finland, which already have a DRS in place, have achieved plastic bottle recycling rates of 90% and have seen over 60% reductions in bottle littering. In contrast, the UK’s bottle recycling rates currently stand at around 70%.

The devolved nations of the UK, particularly Wales, are leading the way in implementing the policy, including glass bottles in their efforts.

Jenni Hume, the Director of Reloop UK and Ireland, emphasised the importance of a future government committing to a scheme that includes glass, metal, and plastic containers across the UK to achieve the greatest environmental benefits and effectively tackle the issue of litter.

Picture: Bottle recycling rates in the UK currently sit at around 70%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.