Limiting a Deposit Return System to On-the-Go Beverages Only Is A Bad Idea

While relatively simple in concept, deposit return systems (DRSs) for beverage containers can be designed and implemented in a number of different ways. One of the most fundamental design features of a DRS, and integral to its success or otherwise, is the scope of the materials and/or types of containers covered by the system. One of the issues often raised in relation to program scope is whether a DRS should include certain target materials, specifically ‘on the go’ beverage containers, or all beverage containers (irrespective of size, format, or other distinction).

Many retailers, brand owners, and some in the waste management sector think that a focus on ‘on the go’ is preferable. A recent report by Suez, for example, one of the largest waste management companies in the U.K., suggests that a DRS for Britain should only target plastic bottles less than 0.75L and aluminum cans consumed ‘on the go’ because these containers represent a more significant cause of litter than other, larger containers. But DRS is not simply a tool to reduce litter; it is a comprehensive tool to create jobs, keep valuable material in the U.K., and provide feedstock to companies that are looking to incorporate recycled resin into their new bottles.

In light of this, Reloop is pleased to announce the release of our new video, which outlines 7 reasons why limiting a deposit return system to ‘on-the-go’ beverage containers only is a bad idea.