Government Sets 2027 Target for Deposit Return Scheme Launch

The Government has today (25 April) announced a revised timeline for the launch of a nationwide Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) by October 2027.

The scheme (DRS), which would enable consumers to recycle plastic bottles and cans in return for cash, has been pushed back, meaning it will not be delivered until almost a decade after it was first announced.

Ministers have blamed the delays on disagreements between the UK’s devolved administrations, particularly in Scotland, which insisted in being able to include glass in the recycling scheme.

Originally targeted for a 2025 launch, the revised 2027 deadline comes after extensive consultations by Defra and collaborative efforts with the Northern Ireland Executive, Welsh Government, and the Scottish Government.

Richard Naisby, Chair of Society of Independent Brewers and Associates, said: “To make the Deposit Return Scheme work for small independent breweries and consumers we need one scheme that is introduced with the same materials, the same rules and on the same day across the UK. While much progress has been made across the four nations to align the schemes including a de minimis for low volume products, today’s announcement means that small businesses in Wales will be penalised by the political failure to agree the same materials, with Wales the only nation to include glass. This will create barriers for small breweries to trade, increase costs and reduce the choice and availability of independent beer.”