Organisers of a trial digital deposit return scheme (DDRS) for drinks containers in Wales say the results show it is a “convenient” and “simple” solution.

The Welsh government, which sponsored the scheme, said the trial run by Powys County Council in the Brecon area, attracted a high level of cooperation from the public, which it said are “open” to using such a scheme in the future.

Some of the results from the trial, which lasted for 16 weeks between July and November last year, had been published before.

The trial tested tech that allows people to digitally scan drink containers before they were deposited to recycled through kerbside collections or at return points.

Over 50 suppliers and partners and 24 retailers took part in the scheme, which allowed residents to claim a 10 pence reward when returning eligible containers. 


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The results reveal that 56% of those participants say they would recommend the deposit return scheme in future.

The results also show that 58% of all returned containers came through weekly household recycling collections and more than 97% of all containers returned at home were captured in the recycling stream. 

PET plastic bottles made up 63% of returns, while cans covered 29%, cartons 7%, and glass less than 1%. 

Powys County Council’s chief officer Matt Perry said: “The residents, visitors and retailers of Brecon thoroughly embraced their involvement in this innovative trial, and it was encouraging to witness everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness to give the digital technology a go.

“The results show for themselves how a digital version of the traditional return deposit schemes could easily be incorporated into the already established weekly kerbside collections services offered by most local authorities making life easier for citizens to return containers whilst also keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum.”

Meanwhile, the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England has been beset by delays and is currently looking unlikely to go ahead before 2028.

Circular economyClimate crisisMarketingMaterials and packagingNature and the environmentNet zeroNewsRetail

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