Government sources have said that the long-awaited deposit return scheme (DRS) announced by ministers in 2017 has once again been pushed back, in a move we call ‘shirking their responsibility.’
A DRS of the sort already in use and seeing huge recycling rates in other countries should have formed a key cornerstone of a green recovery following the pandemic, creating jobs and helping out struggling local councils.
Instead, we’ve heard that the government plans to delay the scheme until 2024 – pushing the responsibility onto a new government.
The introduction of a DRS and the reduction of litter are issues that we’ve campaigned about for many years, and we’ve seen these delaying tactics before.
But this devastating new hold-up suggests that ministers are choosing to listen more to industry lobbyists than to calls to protect the environment, create green jobs after the coronavirus pandemic and limit climate change.
People and planet are calling for a DRS
CPRE has been asking for the introduction of an all-in DRS (one that accepts containers of all types and sizes) for years – but it’s not just us making this demand.
Our surveys have shown that people across England are keen to see much more being done to tackle waste. Over three-quarters of the English public (78%) agreed that the government should be taking more action on litter.
And a comprehensive DRS would represent just such action. We know that a DRS can increase recycling rates of plastic, glass and metal drinks containers to more than 90%. Now was the time to kick into gear with this next step, with lockdown reminding us of the perils of our throwaway culture and England’s broken waste and litter systems.