DRS Would Harm Convenience Stores

The Association of Convenience Stores has reiterated its concerns about the impact that deposit return schemes would have on the convenience sector and overall recycling rates in a submission to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

In the submission, ACS highlights that deposit return schemes would have significant implications for the convenience sector, increasing queueing times, posing health and safety risks for staff, and reducing the amount of space available in store.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The government is rightly considering ways to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of litter on our streets, but we do not believe the introduction of a deposit return scheme that forces retailers to take back bottles and cans is the right answer. DRS will have a significant negative impact on convenience stores that do not have the space in store to install expensive reverse vending machines, and for those who would have to collect the bottles manually, this would cause significant queues and potential flashpoints in store”

A survey of 1,210 UK independent retailers found that 71% thought a deposit return scheme would be impractical to implement due to the space that it would require in their stores. 

Populus polling of 2,000 consumers in the UK found that 70% would prefer to use kerbside household recycling facilities over a deposit return system for bottles and cans. The survey also found that the top three reasons given for why consumers would increase their recycling rate were:

• If more packaging was recyclable (37%)

• If packaging was more clearly labelled as recyclable (35%) and

• If household recycling collections took a greater range of recyclable goods (29%)

In comparison, only 9% of consumers in Populus’ polling said that they would recycle more if a deposit return scheme was introduced.

ACS’ submission will feed into Defra’s Voluntary and Economic Incentives Working Group who are currently considering the feasibility of deposit return schemes in England. The group is due to publish a report on the feasibility of DRS in early 2018. ACS’ full submission can be found here.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Mon, 20/11/2017 - 16:48