Lifestyle Economics

A plastic bottle deposit scheme is an expensive way to achieve very little

Emma Revell writes for CapX

Emma Revell, Communications Manager at the Institute of Economic Affairs, writes for CapX following the publication of a briefing by Chris Snowdon which highlights the expense of a proposed Deposit Return Scheme for plastic and glass bottles.

In the UK, 72 per cent of drinks containers are already recycled by households, largely via regular waste collections, while countries which have a DRS recycle an average of 87 per cent. So the scheme may well improve Britain’s recycling rates, but is it worth it?

The Government’s impact assessment for the scheme estimates that setting up the DRS will cost over £1 billion to set up and over £800m per year to run thereafter. On top of that, there is the cost to households of collecting and storing the empty containers, taking them to the nearest collection point, dropping them off, collecting the voucher, and then queuing somewhere else to claim the cash back.

Read the full piece here.

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