Deposit return scheme
Wales is set to roll out a deposit return scheme in 2025.

Extra charge on drinks bottles and cans under new recycling scheme

A small fee will be added to all single-use drinks containers that will be refunded when customers return the empty bottles and cans.

The scheme is set to be rolled out by 2025 in England and Northern Ireland too. A similar scheme in Scotland will be launched in August this year.

Minister for Climate Change ,Julie James, said “consultation has shown huge public support for the scheme’s introduction, and we know people in Wales want to play their part in improving our already world-leading recycling rates.”

Wales already has high recycling rates, exceeding the national target of 64% last year. This scheme seeks to target plastics that aren’t usually recycled – such as those littered.

The scheme is welcomed by Keep Tidy Wales who say “based on the success of similar initiatives around the world, we believe adding a value to recyclables will have a significant impact on recycling rates and quality, reduce litter and improve the quality of our local environment.”

There are no concrete plans announced from the Welsh Government yet, but similar schemes across Europe often use a voucher system.

The response has been generally positive but concerns have been raised about whether the public will actually return bottles and cans.

The Marine Conservation Society has also criticised the timeframe – a deposit return scheme was initially promised by the Conservative UK Government in their 2019 manifesto.

Also glass is included in the scheme, but only in Wales and Scotland. Figures from the Marine Conservation Society found that 25 glass items were found every 100m on UK beaches last year.