Coca-Cola sets out its view on what constitutes a good deposit return scheme


With consultations underway in England and Scotland on the benefits of introducing a deposit return scheme (DRS) to recycle cans and bottles, Coca-Cola European Partners has said what it believes will be a well-designed system.

The company has revealed 11 points that it argues should be used to form a UK DRS.


These 11 key principles are:

  1. Easy for public to recycle and no penalty for doing the right thing (i.e. good provision of return points and deposit not subject to VAT)
  2. Good financial management and fraud control
  3. A common approach covering the whole of Great Britain
  4. Run by one not-for-profit management company
  5. Retailers, machine suppliers and hauliers are paid for the services they provide
  6. Scheme costs are covered by the sale of collected materials, deposits which aren’t redeemed by the public and a fee on producers and retailers
  7. The management company designs and runs the scheme to achieve targets agreed with Government, including responsibility for determining the number and type of collection points, administration and fraud control
  8. The management company is run by the producers and retailers who have an obligation to fund the scheme
  9. Scheme is flexible enough to work in different retail outlets, specific exemption criteria for small stores and those with sensitive hygiene or security requirements
  10. Underpinned by legislation so all parties engage in the same scheme
  11. Sits alongside other policy initiatives such as changes to the current producer responsibility schemes and other proposed taxes.

Coca-Cola European Partners head of sustainability Nick Brown said: “As a business we want to keep challenging ourselves to ensure we are part of the solution on packaging, whether it is setting ourselves ambitious targets or joining key government working groups.

“Initiatives like our investment in bottle recycling in Great Britain and our commitment to keep increasing recycled material in our packs are key to ensuring more packaging is collected and reprocessed.

“We believe we are at a crucial moment in time, with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create real change for packaging recovery systems in Great Britain. We have been clear on our support for a well-designed deposit return scheme in Great Britain for some time.

“However, with a DRS consultation now open in Scotland and one planned for England later on this year, it is crucial that all parties come together to develop this collaboratively. This is why we’ve revealed our vision on what is required for a practical, joined-up DRS system.”

Coca-Cola has also revealed that it is gradually introducing recycling messages onto the caps of its bottles.

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