However, the WSTA does not believe glass should be included in the DRS scheme and argues that kerbside collection is better for the consumer, businesses and the environment.
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:
“We welcome the Government’s intention to tackle waste and improve recycling.
The UK wine and spirit industry has, for some years now, been working hard – and successfully – to reduce its impact on the environment, for example by shipping in bulk and using substantially less glass in its bottles. These sorts of changes have made a significant impact, and the UK already exceeds glass recycling targets – about 70% of glass packaging in the UK is recycled against a target of only 60%.
We remain unconvinced that glass drinks containers should be included within the scope of the proposed DRS scheme. Glass must be treated differently to plastic – glass cannot be compacted safely and efficiently, unlike plastic, and broken glass is much more likely to cause injury.
The reality is that following years of investment in recycling, councils across the UK already have well-established, trusted and efficient doorstep recycling schemes. Changes to this system, which could instead see consumers themselves burdened with returning glass bottles to point of purchase, are unnecessary. Changes would also pose storage issues for retailers, especially SMEs. Many nations across the world have excluded glass from their DRS systems in favour of kerbside collection, a system that is already working well in the UK.
Including glass in any DRS system would serve only to undermine existing recycling schemes, and would be highly likely to undermine achievements to date.