The ACS has reiterated calls for the government to take into account the challenges facing small stores ahead of the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS).

Speaking at a meeting of the Tidy Britain All Party Parliamentary Group, ACS government relations director Ed Woodall outlined how a well-designed DRS could work for the convenience sector.

Woodall said: “The all-in DRS system is the right approach, driven by the need for consistency across the UK to make the system as easy as possible for consumers and retailers to interact with.

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“We are committed to helping the government deliver the best possible DRS system, but there is no hiding from the fact the implementation of DRS in small retail outlets is a really big challenge.”

During the session, Woodall outlined the challenges facing small stores, including lack of space to store containers, the increased pressure on staff and the cost of operation.

In an earlier submissions to government, the ACS outlined the following series of recommendations:

  • The most effective and safest approach for returns is through reverse vending machines, not manual returns
  • If manual returns are going to be included in the scheme, they must be voluntary
  • Glass should be excluded from the scheme because glass return facilities result in a system which is more complicated and expensive to run
  • The location of return points must be strategically mapped
  • Any DRS must be cost-neutral for retailers

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