Kerbside Deposit Return Scheme pilot shows promising signs
A kerbside Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) trial in Wales has shown consumers to be “highly engaged”.
The pilot, which ran in Conwy, North Wales, resulted in 97% of registered households returning at least one bottle over a four-week period.
The scheme saw households receive six uniquely tagged Princes Gate mineral water bottles over a four-week period (covering June and July 2021). During the joint initiative between technology supplier Polytag, the Welsh Government, Conwy Council, Ecosurety and Wrap Cymru, residents were asked to scan the bottles when placing them in their usual kerbside recycling containers, using a free app. The bottles were scanned again upon collection by Conwy County Borough Council’s household waste recycling team.
For each bottle scanned, householders received a digital token, worth 20p. Over four weeks, nine in 10 registered households scanned four or more bottles, with 193 (73%) scanning all six.
Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, said: “As we move closer to implementing a nationwide DRS, it is vital that brands, retailers, government and technology suppliers work together to find the most convenient way for consumers to recycle containers. We firmly believe that kerbside-based collections are the most effective way to achieve real change whilst delivering significant benefits to brands. This has now been proven in two trials, the latest in Conwy, where engagement was 97%, and in Greasby on the Wirral where we saw 91% of tagged packaging successfully recycled.”
Consultation on the introduction of a deposit return scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is now closed, with the results expected to be announced later this year.