The introduction of a deposit and return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles and aluminium cans in 2022 is a commitment in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy which I published in September 2020. Development of the Action Plan was assisted by the deliberations of the Waste Advisory Group - a broad-based stakeholder forum which my Department chairs and which includes members from environmental NGOs, beverage producers, retailers, representatives from the waste industry and regulators. DRS was a specific topic considered by the Waste Advisory Group last year.
Since publication of the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, my Department held a public consultation on design options for a DRS in November 2020 following which my officials held further bilateral engagements with various stakeholders including environmental NGOs, beverage producers, retailers and representatives from the waste industry.
A sub-group of the Waste Advisory Group has been established to input to the detailed design of the DRS and this group held its first meeting on 15th February. A second public consultation, focusing on the preferred model and draft regulations, will issue before the end of Q1 2021.