The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant, to support the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Wales. The system would see customers pay a small cash deposit when they buy a bottled drink, and get the money back when they return the item to a collection point.
As well as raising the issue in a debate tomorrow (Wednesday), the Welsh Liberal Democrats have also tabled an amendment to the Environment Bill which puts provision for a DRS in Wales on the face of the Bill.
Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales said:
“There are a number of reasons why we are in favour of implementing a Deposit Return Scheme and, as a fellow member of the Corona generation, I having been calling on the Minister for Natural Resources to consider the possibility of reintroducing such a scheme here in Wales.
“Litter surveys show that nearly 20% of the litter on Welsh beaches is made up of drinks containers (plastic bottles, metal drinks cans, glass bottles etc.) and this would be an effective way of directly tackling that. It also fits well into the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy which aims to transform Europe into a more resource-efficient economy. As a nation, we have to become more resource-efficient and I think the DRS could go a long way to changing behaviour and altering the way people feel about single use containers and packaging.
“With the right political will I believe we can make this a reality, and I would like to see the Welsh Government commissioning a feasibility study to look at how such a scheme might operate in practice, and also to consider running a pilot scheme for Wales, as has been done recently in Scotland.”