The promised introduction of a UK Deposit Return Scheme (RDS), for some or all types of single us drinks containers of any or all materials is, potentially fraught, however, necessary a step it may be in reducing, reusing and recycling the ever expanding tide of single use items. However implemented, it is bound to have intended and unintended consequences and major implications, especially for destinations and other visitor economy focal points, where on the go single use drinks containers of all types are widely used in great quantities.
British Destination is encouraging destination management interests to proactively engage in the consultation process in order to ensure that whatever system is adopted is effective in achieving the aim of increasing the 3 “R” of: reduction, reuse and recycling and works constructively for both business and for place making. In order to do this it may be essential that tourism interests look well beyond the retailer consumer interface and the local waste management issue to the complete waste management system and the life cycle of the materials and products used and subsequently produced. Essentially if the potentially billions of additionally items collected via a DRS are not then seamlessly reused or recycled the DRS will fail in either practice or in its intent or both.
Relevant articles that may help prompt broader debate and understanding of the complex competing issues can be found below in reverse date order:
14 Dec 21: DRS Scotland announced
24 Mar 21: Defra Consultation
15 Aug 2019: MacDonalds “strawgate” – a lessons for destinations?
22 May 2019: Single use plastics ban announced in England
17 May 2019: UK Deposit Returns Schemes – should I be interested?