The British Beer and Pub Association and UKHospitality have both welcomed the news that a bottle and can deposit return scheme will be introduced later this year.

 

The plans would mean that customers pay more for bottles and cans but get cash back when the bottles are returned for recycling.

Currently such schemes are already in place elsewhere in Europe, including Germany and Sweden, with sums being returned ranging from around 10 to 20 pence.

Brigid Simmonds, the chief executive of the BBPA, said the trade association had been leading packaging compliance schemes for many years, and was 'in a unique position' to assist the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs on matters.

Brigid said: "We will continue to work with the Government to look at the details of any new deposits legislation to make sure that it works for both brewers and small businesses like pubs.

"It is good to see DEFRA acknowledging that the burden on the hospitality sector must be carefully considered in designing any new scheme."

Brigid also welcomed that the move would include working with the Scottish Government on a single UK scheme and that it was 'essential' any mandatory approach did not add costs to businesses or consumers.

The move was welcomed by Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UKHospitality - the new trade body incorporating the ALMR, but she warned a 'united front' was needed to tackle packaging waste – and also to avoid additional business costs.

Kate said there was "a genuine worry" the scheme will increase costs for businesses while not providing the action required to tackle packaging waste.

She said any scheme must ensure businesses "do not incur a disproportionate and massive cost burden that could potentially drive some employers out of business."

Speaking about the scheme, environment secretary Michael Gove, said: "We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans."