Craig Cutajar, Plan B’s Director of Material Sales (pictured below), recently attended the CIWM Resource conference and got involved in an interesting discussion about the possible introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) within the recycling industry.

Maz Akhtar and Craig Cutajar on the Plan B conference stand

Craig says, “My personal opinion on DRS is that I remain unconvinced that it will provide real value, particularly when we know that comprehensive and effective kerbside collection schemes can capture high quantities of material and provide good quality material feedstock into various recycling and manufacturing processes.

Digital DRS may save significant costs in new infrastructure and logistics, but clearly will incur significant costs if producers and manufacturers have to add a unique barcode to every item – potentially every bottle and can!

I believe DRS would be better used to deal with other key issues in the sector such as household batteries. An extra £1 on the cost of a battery, refunded on return, would ensure these items are removed from current kerbside collection schemes and unintended material processing facilities, where they can pose a significant fire, health and safety risk.

A DRS could have a significant impact in increasing capture and the safe recycling of such valuable resources, without significant investment in infrastructure. It would add to and improve how we manage waste in the UK.”

Do you agree with Craig? Let us know your thoughts!

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