Pragmatic Approach Needed To Cut Waste And Plastic, Says BBPA

The British Beer & Pub Association has today welcomed the launch of various consultations by the Government to cut waste and plastic, but has urged that a pragmatic approach is needed to ensure that objectives are achieved in the most cost-effective manner that work across the UK.

Responding to the launch of the consultations, including a consultation on a proposed Deposit Return Scheme, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“Brewers and publicans fully support efforts to cut waste and plastic and so we welcome these consultations. However, a pragmatic approach is needed to ensure waste is reduced in a cost-effective manner that works across the UK.

“We support a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles, but we also believe that enhancements to the current recycling schemes which collect cans and glass from residential and business properties can ensure we continue to achieve the high targets set by government.

“There is currently a separate consultation on a DRS in Scotland, but the BBPA believes that a UK-wide system is crucial to making a DRS a success. This would avoid unnecessary costs and significant fraud risk in what is an integrated UK supply-chain and market for drinks containers. Evidence from other countries also shows that an industry-run, not-for-profit, scheme would likely deliver the most cost-effective results.

“The proposed changes to Producer Responsibility Obligations will, according to the consultation, lead to a tenfold increase in the cost of PRNs (Packaging Waste Recovery Notes). This is significant for our industry as the beer and pub sector are major contributors to the current regime and will now bear the full cost of collection, recycling or disposing of waste. It is therefore important that any changes brought about by these consultations fully take into account the impact on businesses of all sizes, many of whom in our sector are already operating under significant regulatory burdens. We’ll be making this clear in our responses to these consultations.”