Public opinion on deposit return schemes (DRS) in the UK is “overwhelmingly positive” according to a coalition of environmental organisations that is calling on political parties to state their plans for tackling the waste crisis in their manifestos for the 2024 General Election manifesto.

A DRS is set to be introduced across the UK in 2027 and will see a small deposit placed on drinks bottles and cans to incentivise their return for recycling.

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According to research by the nonprofit Reloop, 69% of the public supports the implementation of a DRS and looks to the government to act on waste. There is 77% support among Conservative voters, 69% support from Labour voters and 71% among Liberal Democrat voters.

Polling suggests that 89% of the public believes that the national government has at least a fair amount of responsibility for recycling.

Among Labour voters, the single greatest motivation for supporting a DRS is the creation of a monetary incentive to drive recycling (50%). For Liberal Democrat and Conservative voters, the greatest motivation is the benefit of waste reduction through minimising single-use container waste.

Countries already operating a DRS, such as Germany, Norway and Finland, have plastic bottle recycling rates of 90% and have seen reductions of over 60% in the littering of bottles. Bottle recycling rates in the UK currently sit at around 70%.

The UK’s devolved nations, in particular Wales, are driving ahead with the policy, boosting environmental ambition through the inclusion of glass bottles.

Reloop UK and Ireland director Jenni Hume commented: “A future government can secure the greatest environmental benefits and best tackle the scourge of litter by committing to a scheme that includes glass, metal and plastic containers across the UK.”