A cross-party group of politicians in the UK has called on the government to raise its ambitions around the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) recycling policy.
In a letter to Environment Secretary George Eustice MP, 20 Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have appealed to the Government to widen the scope of materials included its proposals for a DRS.
The group highlighted the omission of beverage cartons, the inclusion of which “will improve consumer engagement, by aligning the Scheme more closely with current household recycling”, they wrote.
The letter adds that including as many materials as possible will help to increase recycling rates and better secure access to high quality recycled material for the packaging industry.
“We therefore urge the Government to raise its ambitions and widen the scope of existing proposals for the DRS to include cartons,” they added. “A DRS with cartons is better for the environment, better for consumers and better for recycling.”
PET Plastic and Metal Cans
Under the Government’s current proposals, the DRS will only include PET plastic and metal cans, they argued. The carton industry has repeatedly called on the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to rethink its original decision to exclude beverage cartons from the DRS.
By reducing the scope of the DRS to such a limited number of materials, it risks confusing the British public who are used to recycling materials such as beverage cartons as part of their kerbside collections, the letter added.
Commenting on the initiative, Dragan Rajkovic, sustainability director for north Europe at Tetra Pak, said, “I am delighted to see this cross-party group of MPs take such a firm stance on the need to include more materials, particularly beverage cartons, in the UK’s DRS.”