The Beverage Carton Industry Position on Collection and Deposit Return Schemes
Separate collection is an important step in the transition to a circular economy, as it increases the volume and the quality of materials available for recycling. The beverage carton industry supports collection policies such as Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR). Well-functioning EPR schemes have proven to be very effective and cost-efficient to reach high collection and recycling rates while providing a level-playing field for all packaging types. Deposit schemes (DRS) are one form of EPR applied only to beverage containers. We believe that EPR should work for all packaging types and not just for a few selected packaging types considered for deposit. By doing so, this will enable those in the recycling value chain to increase economies of scale and consumer participation in collection by reducing complexity. In countries where governments consider implementing mandatory DRS, we believe that:
- DRS should be part of an Extended Producer Responsibility legal framework, where the EPR framework is applied to all consumer packaging types & materials, regardless of format or size.
- The environmental benefits and costs of DRS should be assessed in a feasibility study and include all beverage containers and all drinks, including milk.
- Where DRS is implemented, the system should be owned and operated by industry.
- The costs should be shared on the net-cost principle basis and should include the revenues from materials sold and the unredeemed packaging.
- Collection of all beverage containers should be ensured – including those not covered by DRS.