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28 March 2018

The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “Normally, we would welcome any proposal that in principle would lead to an improvement in quality. Clearly, a deposit return scheme for plastics bottles, glass bottles and cans is likely to lead to a purer stream of material to recycle.

“However, we must be careful we do not throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to understand what this will mean for the entire domestic recycling system. For example, how will local authorities replace what is a valuable revenue stream for them and could this make collections of other material such as cardboard and paper uneconomic for local authorities? Could this then make the quality of other material worse if collection systems cannot be properly funded?

“Rather than introduce one solution to one issue, we need to ensure we look at the UK recycling system as a whole, and see if deposit return schemes can be a part of that. There is already a review of Extended Producer Responsibility being undertaken by the Advisory Committee on Packaging as part of the Resources & Waste Strategy, and it could be this could lead to more appropriate funding levels to address recycling performance and littering while maintaining existing infrastructure and quality levels.”

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