Local Shops Reiterate Opposition to Bottle Deposit Plans

Trade associations representing convenience stores across England, Wales and Scotland have reiterated their position on plans for a bottle return scheme, outlining the problems that the scheme would cause for retailers.

The Association of Convenience Stores and the Scottish Grocers Federation have written to the Scottish government, highlighting the following concerns about deposit return schemes (DRS):

  • Retailers do not have the space to store and manage high volumes of returned beverage containers.
  • An increase in staffing levels would be required to manage returns and prevent increased queuing times at the till.
  • It is not financially viable for convenience store retailers to install a reverse vending solution.
  • Convenience retailers will be disproportionately disadvantaged as they do not access to back hauling services, their stores are smaller and they have less capital to invest in the set-up of the scheme.

In a submission to Zero Waste Scotland's call for evidence in 2015, ACS and SGF expressed concerns that a deposit returns scheme is the wrong solution for the UK, given the existing kerbside recycling facilities available to the public and the cost, both in terms of time and money, that a scheme would impose on convenience stores. In the convenience sector, the majority of stores are under 2,000 sq ft.

With space at an absolute premium, requiring retailers to adopt a solution that would either put a bulky machine in their store or take up huge amounts of space through the manual return of containers is impractical, unreasonable and unnecessary.

SGF chief executive Pete Cheema said: "Deposit return is the wrong solution for Scotland and the wrong solution for our industry. Local authorities are making good progress in achieving the national recycling target and it makes no sense to throw this into reverse and place the burden on retailers"

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "A deposit return scheme would bring massive time and cost burdens on local convenience store retailers. We believe that this system is unnecessary, and that regulators should focus their attention on maximising the effectiveness of local authorities' existing kerbside recycling schemes."

The ACS and SGF joint submission to Zero Waste Scotland is available here: https://www.acs.org.uk/download/deposit-return-system-call-for-evidence-scotland/

This entry was posted by Chris on Tue, 21/03/2017 - 13:43
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