Aluminium sector keeps up pressure over DRS plans

The aluminium can sector has stepped up its lobbying over the planned Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland with talk of “perverse incentives” and market distortion in the beer sector.

Alupro wants a proportionate type of approach under the DRS

The sector’s DRS concerns have been raised in the latest missive by the aluminium packaging body Alupro aimed at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Alupro’s executive director, Tom Giddings, sent a letter to Defra secretary of state Therese Coffey last week elaborating on the sector’s worries about the way the DRS is currently proposed.

And, earlier this week Alupro reminded government of its desire to see aluminium cans collected at the kerbside separately from paper under the expected consistency proposals.


On the DRS, Mr Giddings told the secretary of state that the DRS must avoid any “backsliding in recycling performance from what is already being achieved as well as perverse incentives that will distort the UK beverage packaging market in favour of other packaging types and support more plastic being seen on our supermarket shelves.”

The organisation is in favour of a variable rate of deposit arguing that 6 cans of liquid will have a DRS fee of 6 x 20p (£1.20) while a two litre plastic bottle of a drink will only have a fee of 20p. And, it reasons that beer is sold in cans or glass bottles so glass bottles will benefit from not having a DRS charge.

Drinks cans should go back to the can recycling chain rather than for making other aluminium products, says Alupro

Alupro is also arguing that glass, which is exempt from the DRS in England, should have to meet a 90% collection target as with cans under the DRS, or be put into the DRS system.

‘No hope’

Dr Coffey is also told by Mr Giddings that: “Should Government fail to uphold the same standards across materials, it has no hope of achieving its environmental objectives and will fail to boost recycling rates in any impactful way.”

And, the organisation also argues that aluminium cans collected via the DRS should be sent back for can making rather than used to make other aluminium products.

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