The LGA has responded to consultation on government proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS). This is part of a set of proposals on the future of waste and recycling that also covers consistent recycling collections and reform of the packaging producer responsibility system.
- The LGA is supportive of the Governments ambition to deliver a DRS. An effective DRS will help to deliver improved quality and quantity of recyclate. It could also be a real force for delivering behavioural change amongst consumers.
- However, we have to question the value being placed on DRS within the Impact Assessments (IAs). We have sought external financial analysis and this has confirmed that the value being placed on the disamenity of litter within the DRS proposals needs further clarification. The calculation on disamenity of litter is not well supported by the evidence presented. We would question the overall value for money of DRS if the figures for litter disamenity are excluded from the analysis.
- There is not enough supporting data to help make a decision about whether all-in or on-the-go would be the best DRS models to support. The next phase of any DRS work must address this with data collected in the UK to support any decision making.
- Producers contributing to DRS should still have to pay for EPR. EPR is the fundamental method for ensuring that councils get full net cost recovery. If producers are allowed to only pay into DRS councils could potentially lose out on getting their full costs paid for and end up with council tax payers having to pay for DRS material which has ended up in litter or residual waste.
- DRS is a collection system. It does not on its own make producers change their behaviour. DRS has to be implemented in a manner which actively encourages producers to use more environmentally friendly bottles. It must not be a system which facilitates producers carrying on with their current behaviour whilst consumers pick up the cost via paying deposits.