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Majority support calls for deposit return scheme, YouGov poll finds

27 July 2019 by
Majority support calls for deposit return scheme, YouGov poll finds

Almost three-quarters of people would support a UK-wide container deposit return scheme, a YouGov poll has found, amid concern from hospitality leaders over the implementation of the policy.

The poll, published by pressure group the Campaign to Protect Rural England, found that 72% of respondents would support a deposit return scheme if it was rolled out across the UK.

Some 33% of the 3,386 adults in the sample said they would want a UK-wide scheme to mirror that of Scotland, allowing glass, plastic, steel and aluminium to be returned to the point of sale for recycling.

Deposit return schemes, or DRSs, which allow customers to receive a marginal refund for returning plastics to their point of sale for recycling, have remained a point of contention for the hospitality sector.

Industry leaders have warned the well-intentioned policy to protect the environment could put an undue burden on pubs, bars and cafés where reusable bottles are used.

And if implemented inefficiently, officials have raised concerns that hospitality operators will have to allow greater storage space for returned items, as well as cost pressures.

In February UKHospitality said the sector should be considered independently from retailers as the majority of bottles purchased would be consumed on-site.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Hospitality businesses have long been working hard to tackle plastic and packaging waste, such as the widespread phasing out of plastic straws and many coffee shops having introduced schemes to encourage use of reusable cups.

"UKHospitality has partnered with other industry bodies such as the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) to successfully raise awareness of the problems and promote best practice and effective voluntary measures.

"But while we will highlight that progress to government, and our willingness to tackle waste issues, we must emphasise that any additional measures must be proportionate and that further taxes on an already burdened sector are likely to undo that good work. Any new DRS measures introduced must also be consistent with those due to be introduced in Scotland."

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