Tesco pledges support for plastic deposit return scheme

Deposit Return Scheme

Tesco has pledged its support for a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) in efforts to reduce the billions of single-use drinks bottles Britons throw away every year.

Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee have called on the government to introduce the scheme, which could boost recycling rates by around 90 per cent.

The support of the UK’s largest retailer has been met with praise from environmental groups, following similar declarations of support from Iceland and the Co-op.

“We do support developing a cost-effective deposit return system (DRS) and are currently working with a number of partners to scope a project to explore how this can operate in practice and at scale,” a Tesco spokesperson said.

“We view DRS as only one aspect of the holistic approach that is required to achieve the broader goals of reducing waste and increasing recycling in the UK.”

Greenpeace senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge added: “It’s great news that Britain’s biggest retailer has come out firmly in support of deposit return schemes.

“The ocean plastic problem is complex and some areas will require innovation, but there is plenty of low-hanging fruit, and one of the lowest and ripest is a deposit return scheme (DRS) for bottles.

“They have been tried and tested across the developed world and they work, increasing the collection rate for plastic bottles up to 96 per cent.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May laid out her 25-year environmental plan including various measures on plastic waste.

Although she did not announce a roll out of the scheme, stating she wanted to “look at the evidence of what works”, growing support could from retailers and the Scottish government could push forward a decision.

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