Deposit return schemes will "save councils £35 million a year"

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Eunomia predicts a DRS could save councils £35 million a year

Local authorities could save £35 million a year if they introduced a Deposit Return System (DRS), according to a new Eunomia report.

This counteracts the concern of some councils which argue a DRS would lose them money due to valuable material being removed from recycling service.

The report said savings would be made elsewhere, for example reducing the number of litter picks and street sweepers.

Research found that the lower the current recycling rate, the more savings a council could make, given that materials captured within a DRS are diverted from residual waste.

Data was collected across eight boroughs including South Oxfordshire, Trafford, North Devon and North Somerset. Savings per household ranged from 72p - £4.06.

Dominic Hogg, Eunomia chairman and co-author of the report, said: "Around 700,000 plastic bottles and 600,000 drinks cans are littered every day in the UK. If we want good quality materials in our system, a DRS is a good way to get this material back."

However, Hogg did admit that local authorities would experience DRS in different ways.

He said: "For some authorities, for example two-tier structures, we can see that it would be harder to get revenue back and this depends on the unique partnership."

Alison Ogden Newton from Keep Britain Tidy, which commissioned the report, welcomed the new data.

She said: "People talk a lot about DRS but we just don't have enough data, and the data we do have hasn't been conducted on English authorities.

"It's not just the net savings which should be acknowledged but the cost of doing nothing."

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