Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Glass bottles to be excluded from DRS in England and Northern Ireland

Published:  29 March, 2022

DEFRA has announced today that they will not include glass bottles in the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for England and Northern Ireland.

As part of DEFRA’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging consultation summary, the department said some responses raised concerns over glass, in particular, the way glass is collected in reverse vending machines, “possibly being crushed and mixed, ultimately resulting in poorer quality glass than is collected currently through kerbside recycling”.

Respondents also noted the complexity of equipment, increased emissions and handling costs required to make glass a part of the scheme.

  • READ MORE: Accolade backs Scotland’s DRS

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “We are pleased that Defra has listened to industry concerns about the inclusion of glass and has announced that glass containers will not be part of any future DRS scheme in England or Northern Ireland. From the outset, the WSTA has argued – often as a lone voice - that the best way to increase glass recycling rates is to improve kerbside collection, rather than introduce a completely new regime.”

James Calder, SIBA chief executive, said: “The news today that glass will be excluded from England and Northern Ireland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) systems should be cautiously welcomed as it signals that glass, as a material, is unworkable within the proposed system and government has recognised this. 

“But the UK’s independent brewers will now have to engage with three separate DRS models - one in Scotland, one in Wales and one in England and NI. This level of complexity and red tape is a further burden on an already heavily-regulated brewing industry, and comes as breweries are recovering from the pandemic and dealing with huge inflationary rises.”

He added: “This announcement will also threaten the ability of consumers to choose and enjoy beer from breweries around the country, because in many parts of the UK and NI, the cost of supplying independent beer will be prohibitive for small breweries."