Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)

The Deposit Return Scheme will be implemented in Scotland from 16 August 2023 and in the rest of the UK sometime in late 2025.

It will require retailers of drinks products in certain packaging types to charge a deposit as part of the sale price that will be returned to anyone bringing back the packaging to a participating retailer ie one that has sold drinks in the relevant packaging.

For Scotland, the regulations have been published

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020

with an amendment to change the start date to 2023

Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Amendment Regulations SSI 2022/76

The Scoittish system will cover:packaging that:

  • is made wholly or mainly from PET plastic, glass, steel or aluminium,
  • is conceived or designed to—
    • contain at least 50 millilitres and no more than 3 litres of liquid, and
    • be sealed in an airtight and watertight state at the point of sale,
  • cannot be returned to its state at the point of sale by the consumer, and
  • is single-use packaging,

For the rest of the UK, Defra published a consultation in March 2021 and the consultation response on 20 Jan 2023. This lays out the proposed system for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For England and NI, glass will be excluded but will be included for Wales similar to Scotland.

Once introduced, packaging in scope for DRS will be exempt from the current packaging waste regulations and the future EPR.

Further information on the Scottish proposals can be found here.

A Defra Business Readiness Forum session on 25 Jan 2023 gave more details as to how the system will work in England, Wales and NI.

Latest Q&A information (24/02/23) 

Defra update newsletter 16/03/23

Producer Responsibility

  • Overview
  • WEEE Regulations
    • Data
  • Used EEE exports
  • Packaging Waste Regulations
    • Packaging Obligation Calculator
    • PRN Prices
    • Data
    • Agency Communications
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  • Essential Requirements
  • Batteries Regulations
  • End of Life Vehicle Regulations
  • Agency Comms
  • Plastic Packaging Tax
  • Deposit Return Scheme (DRS)