The UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WTSA) has called on environment minister Michael Gove to resist including glass in a deposit return scheme to prevent excess plastic from being used in packaging.
The WSTA submitted a ‘strong objection’ to a Defra consultation regarding the inclusion of glass in a deposit return scheme (DRS), according to a statement.
The group reported that there are better ways to boost recycling in England and Wales.
The WSTA estimates that the inclusion of glass in a new DRS initiative would cost consumers around £280 million (€317 million) over the next five years.
It reported that if glass were included in a new deposit return scheme, it would mean that each bottle would have an extra 3.3p surcharge – a cost that would ultimately land with the consumer.
This, combined with a 20p refundable deposit per bottle, would lead to the average price of a bottle of wine rising to £6.08 (€6.89), up from the current £5.84 (€6.62).
Over the next five years, the WSTA estimates that around 8.5 million bottles of wine and spirits will be sold in the UK.
The price hike would be another bitter blow to wine drinkers, who were singled out for a duty rise by the Chancellor in the last Budget, the WSTA reported.
From 1 February this year, the duty rate on still wine increased by 7p (€0.08), to £2.23 (€2.53), and on sparkling wine by 9p (€0.10), to £2.86 (€3.24).
The extra cost to the consumer could be avoided if the government looked to improve kerbside collections, WSTA revealed.
In its submission to the Defra consultation, the WSTA argued that glass is 100% recyclable, does not present the same threat to wildlife as plastic, and is largely inert, made from natural materials, and easily available.
Wine And Spirits
Wine and spirit producers have made significant environmental strides in recent years, reducing glass per bottle by up to 60% over the last decade, exceeding EU glass recycling targets at the same time, according to the WSTA.
“The WSTA has long argued that there is no evidence to support the inclusion of glass in the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). What is clear is that including glass drastically increases costs, which ultimately will end up being paid for by the consumer,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
“The UK already exceeds EU recycling targets for glass, and Michael Gove must question whether it would be significantly more cost-effective with greater environmental gains to exempt glass from DRS and improve kerbside collection instead,” Beale added.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Helen Galgey. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.