Speaking On the Resources and Waste Strategy Consultation Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said:

“We all want to see a world with no plastic pollution and high levels of recycling. We are already making good progress towards this by removing, reducing and improving packaging. At a time when many shops are being lost form our high streets, the Resources and Waste Strategy presents business with an additional £3 billion bill. Consequently, if retail’s investment in our environment is to have the biggest impact then we need a clear commitment from Government that any new taxes must be ring-fenced to fund innovation, improve the infrastructure and improve consistency of recycling – not fill treasury coffers.”

On the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS):

“We need a targeted Deposit Return Scheme, working across the UK, that complements kerbside recovery. The best way is by focusing on cans and plastic bottles drunk and consumed outside the home, to decrease the chances of them littering our streets or ending up in the ocean. Targeting on-the-go consumption avoids undermining existing household collection schemes, taking away a key source of revenues for local councils, as well as making life more difficult for households who can currently recycle these items from the comfort of their home. “ 

“Introduction of a DRS is expected to cost up to £2 billion – with deposit return machines needed for high street stores up and down the country. Government must provide the necessary support and funding to ensure the DRS can be a success.”

On the Packaging Recovery Notice (PRN):

“Retailers want to do the right thing and know they have a responsibility to contribute more directly towards the costs of recycling and recovering packaging, alongside their work with suppliers in reducing packaging and removing plastics. Whilst acknowledging the costs to business could be up to £1 billion, we support a review of PRN. We need a system that incentives best practice by rewarding retailers who use packaging that is easily recycled and disincentivises the use of less recyclable materials.”

On the Plastic Packaging Tax:

“For this tax to make the difference that everyone wants to see, it is essential that the revenue raised is put back into recycling innovation rather than being locked away by the Treasury. Currently there is not enough good quality recycled plastic available for all companies to meet this objective. Government must work with businesses to ensure the recycled plastic and recycling infrastructure is made available to support efforts to tackle plastic pollution.”