NFRN ‘cautiously’ backs UK DRS scheme for 2024

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Deposit return scheme Ireland
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has confirmed its support for a deposit return scheme (DRS) for the whole of the UK in its response to government consultation.

However, the trade organisation has also warned that whether DRS can be delivered across the UK, excluding Scotland, in 2024 depends on a number of factors.

Chief amongst these are the speed at which the UK government gets parliamentary approval for the legislative framework, and how quickly an official administrator is then appointed to put the scheme in place.

The other factor in delivering in 2024 is the closeness of the UK scheme to that being developed in Scotland. Interoperable schemes are desirable from the perspective of fraud prevention and an efficient supply chain.

The closer the structure and operation of the two schemes are, the more the experience and lessons gained in implementing the Scottish scheme can be used to speed up the introduction of DRS in the rest of the UK.

“The NFRN was the first retail trade association to support the introduction of DRS and we are keen to see it reach its maximum potential,” said NFRN National President Stuart Reddish.

“Deposit return schemes will be at their most effective and efficient when the public understands them. Differences between schemes in different countries within the single trading area of the UK will serve only to cause confusion, particularly in the border areas, and drive down return rates.”