APRS News

What Happened to Deposit Return?

Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the past few months you will have heard about Scotland’s deposit return scheme. You may be feeling a little confused as to why something that was so popular, and works in so many places round the world, ended up tainted with a feeling of failure.

And you may be puzzled as to why a plan to achieve better recycling and reduce litter has been front page news, helped drive the agenda for the SNP’s leadership election, was talked about in the first meeting between a Prime Minister and a new First Minister, and became the first policy to fall foul of Westminster’s Internal Market Act.1

It’s been two months since the Scottish Government announced that they were delaying Scotland’s deposit return scheme until the English scheme was ready to go – October 2025 at the earliest. And we now have a bit of distance to look back at exactly what happened over the previous six months to switch the situation around from a scheme that was scheduled to start on August 16th, to a scheme that is missing in action and possibly critically wounded.

How could the implementation of a recycling system that is extremely well tried and tested in at least 70 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world be delayed so long, become so bogged down and create such controversy. While Scotland’s scheme has stalled, three2 countries have implemented their schemes. And at least 920 million bottles and cans a year have been unnecessarily littered, landfilled and incinerated.

While Scotland’s scheme has stalled, three countries have implemented their schemes. And at least 920 million bottles and cans a year have been unnecessarily littered, landfilled and incinerated.

It certainly took us at APRS by surprise. When we started the campaign in 2015 we quickly got support across the board from the public, politicians of all parties, and from businesses.

But even back then it wasn’t the first time the Scottish Parliament had discussed a deposit return scheme. In 2006 two primary school children brought a petition to the Parliament because their dog had cut its paw on some broken glass. In 2009, with the passage of Climate Change (Scotland) Act, the Scottish Government got the powers to implement a deposit return scheme.

By 2017 we had cross-party support and an announcement from Roseanna Cunningham, then Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, that Scotland would have a deposit return scheme covering glass, aluminium and PET plastic bottles – exactly what we had argued for. The regulations were brought in by the SNP administration on 30 June 2017.

The campaign had gone so well that APRS reduced our efforts on the campaign and switched onto other priorities. 

So what happened to change from a point where there was near universal support, to where we are today?    

Before we start it’s worth dispelling a few myths

Firstly, that this was the Green Party’s/Lorna Slater’s scheme. All of the legislation and the regulations that were in place were made under a single-party SNP government, the legislation under Richard Lochhead as Cabinet Secretary, and then the regulations under his successor, Roseanna Cunningham. The only regulations that Lorna Slater as minister was responsible for were the changes3 announced on 20 April in response to pressure from small producers and to simplify online return.

Secondly – that it was ‘controversial’, the adjective attached to ‘deposit return scheme’  every time it was mentioned in the papers. It wasn’t controversial. Every party had backed it and it’s been tried and tested in so many countries and subnational administrations, some of which have been running for more than 40 years.

Thirdly – that the inclusion of glass made it unworkable. Glass was in 9 out of 13 deposit return schemes in Europe and 45 of 51 across the world in 2022. The challenges of dealing with waste glass are what makes it so vital that it is included in deposit return schemes. Single use glass is more expensive to deal with than other drinks containers – that’s because it is dangerous when broken, heavy and expensive to transport and takes 75% of the energy of raw materials to make into a bottle, unlike just 5% for aluminium cans. But, at the moment, these costs are borne by the local authorities and, in addition, they have to deal with littered glass, which is even more challenging. 

It is vital that the use of single use glass is not incentivised by excluding it from the deposit return scheme. The Tories knew this and campaigned for glass to be included in the scheme. In 2019 Maurice Golden, their environment spokesman, wrote to the Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, arguing that “including glass in a deposit system will help to discourage litter and encourage recycling which will create and maintain jobs while helping to tackle climate change”, and noting that “where a material is not included, there might be a perverse incentive for manufacturers to shift packaging to less sustainable materials”. It was only in 2023 when that position changed. In May 2023  he said: “…ultimately what I’m proposing is that we salvage the scheme. I think from listening to businesses that unfortunately does not include glass at this stage.”

A deposit return scheme, by its nature, is designed to place the costs of recovery of the single-use containers onto the producers, thereby reversing the usual pattern where there is an incentive for companies to externalise their costs to the environment and society. 

Fourthly, that it would put producers, particularly small ones, out of business. In none of the deposit return schemes around the world are we aware of producers going out of business due to the introduction of a scheme. In fact recent analysis by Reloop shows that there is no relationship between sales and the introduction of deposit return schemes. Scheme administrators usually put in place measures to assist small businesses and, in the Scottish scheme, a number of measures to support small businesses were announced in April 2022, including an exemption for product lines that sell fewer than 5000 units a year, and allowing hospitality venues to be excluded from being a return point.

In our campaign we had always emphasised the importance of focussing on the small producers and retailers, as learning from other countries’ implementation of deposit return showed that this is what needs most careful planning. The large producers will always be able to navigate a new scheme – they usually run, or at least are members of, the scheme administrator, they have operations across many countries already operating deposit return and can draw on that expertise, and they have compliance and governance teams that specialise in this kind of work. It is the small producers, with small teams, often multi-tasking, that need help, guidance and assistance in navigating a new system such as deposit return. 

A deposit return scheme, by its nature, is designed to place the costs of recovery of the single-use containers onto the producers, thereby reversing the usual pattern where there is an incentive for companies to externalise their costs to the environment and society. 

Deposits are designed to ensure that more of the costs of creating a product are borne by the company making the product. It is not a new concept, ‘polluter pays’ being one of the principles for sustainable development that came out of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. But it is, unfortunately, one that is too rarely seen being implemented – imagine if oil companies had to internalise the costs of climate change rather than allowing them to be borne by society, and the planet’s ecosystems. 

From deposit return schemes emerge the beginnings of a truly circular economy, and they offer the possibility of adding in other items, including refillable containers, at a later stage.

The advantage of a deposit return scheme, then, is that it incentivises the producers to make packaging that is more recyclable, create systems that maximise the recovery of the single-use packaging, and ensure streams of high quality materials for new drinks containers. From deposit return schemes emerge the beginnings of a truly circular economy, and they offer the possibility of adding in other items, including refillable containers, at a later stage.

So deposit return schemes do add limited costs to producers, especially at the beginning, however in many schemes in Europe the value of the materials is so high that the schemes become cost neutral or, in the case of Norway, the scheme administrator actually pays a very small payment to producers for each can that enters the scheme.   

The campaign against deposit return

Over the following paragraphs I will look into the campaign against the deposit return scheme and try and explain a bit of what happened over the last six months. Firstly for the supporters of the ‘Have You Got The Bottle?’ campaign and for APRS’s members, but also, importantly, as a heads-up for those campaigning for deposit return in England and Wales. We expect some of the same tactics to be used against the planned deposit return schemes in England and Wales and, as they say, “forewarned is forearmed”.

It’s fair to say that the timing of the unexpected resignation of Nicola Sturgeon in February 2023 probably didn’t help. This came a couple of months into a prolonged campaign against Deposit Return.  

At the start, as it gathered momentum, almost all the media stories were coming from small producers, mostly brewers, even though the lobbying register showed that the heavy lifting behind the scenes had come from the whisky industry. There was a shortage of information for small producers and this created uncertainty and room for misinformation. There were also some well-founded concerns among small producers, and small retailers, as discussed above, dealt with in a series of changes to the regulations.

This uncertainty and misinformation was not helped by confusion over the roles of the various bodies responsible for the scheme: Circularity Scotland, the organisation set up by the biggest producers, retailers and trade organisations to discharge their new responsibilities; SEPA, the regulator; Zero Waste Scotland; and the Scottish Government themselves. A WhatsApp group with, reportedly, hundreds of members stoked the uncertainty and contributed to disseminating misinformation.

The media campaign was extremely effective at gaining support – every MSP has a small brewer in their constituency, and they are typically held in affection locally. And it certainly seemed like a campaign that came from the grassroots, mainly small brewers: but was this the case?  

With small producers, sometimes ones with only a couple of staff, in the news, it became extremely difficult for any businesses supporting deposit return, especially large ones, to speak up.

Every day brought another negative story in the media about deposit return. Every small brewer or producer who feels threatened is another news story, and the media had got the taste for the narrative. 

With small producers, sometimes ones with only a couple of staff, in the news, it became extremely difficult for any businesses supporting deposit return, especially large ones, to speak up. We had a visit from a representative of a giant drinks manufacturer during the height of this barrage of articles, extremely worried about the direction the tone of the media was going in. They felt that they couldn’t wade in with the other side of the story, which was that many, many producers did want deposit return to happen, and that, in their experience of it in other parts of the world, it worked well. It just wouldn’t look good in the face of so many articles about small and tiny producers. We also had a trade association, supportive of deposit return get in touch who were finding it very hard to get any traction in the media.

It was, indeed, very hard to get any pickup on the other side of the story. We tried to get the voice of the environment movement, and the strength of public support for the scheme, heard, but the narrative took hold that deposit return would be disastrous for business and could not be shifted. Fuelled by the clickbait headline grabbers that seemed to be in every article: Deposit return could  ‘destroy’ firms,  was ‘forcing wine producers out of Scotland’ and will be ‘catastrophic’. Each article from a small producer or retailer. Always some Armageddon around the corner. And there was a new story every single day.

But because these far-fetched figures were now in the papers they started to be quoted in other media outlets and in Parliament.

As the changes to help small producers were announced there were fewer stories from brewers but the stories started to get quite far-fetched. The cost of a pack of water bottles would go from £3.50 to £11, Scots would “travel 7.5 hours” to avoid deposit return, Scotch whisky “could be banned” from shops in Scotland, and a story that a tiny craft brewery in Cambridgeshire had printed ‘not for sale in Scotland’ on their cans went into every media outlet across Scotland. 

But because these far-fetched figures were now in the papers they started to be quoted – in other media outlets and in Parliament. In a debate at Holyrood Maurice Golden MSP quoted a brewer saying that the costs passed onto shoppers could be as much as 40p per container and the Scottish Wholesale Association claiming that up to 40% of brands could disappear from Scotland. There was so much misinformation in the media. Politicians laid in with wildly alarmist quotes: Penny Mordant MP claimed that deposit return will be “worse than Brexit” Fergus Ewing MSP that it is “immoral”, Kate Forbes MSP that it will cause “economic carnage” and Maurice Golden MSP that it even threatens “Armageddon” 

And it seemed also, in the press, that hospitality was also against the deposit return scheme. This was a puzzle to us as the deposit return scheme would have reduced costs for hospitality venues – pubs, hotels, clubs etc. These venues currently pay large fees to have their empty bottles and cans collected through compulsory trade waste rules, but under the deposit return scheme they would have them collected for free, and in fact be paid a very small handling fee for each can and bottle to cover the costs. 

The charge from the hospitality industry seemed to be led by an organisation called the Scottish Hospitality Group, which started out as a WhatsApp group, and represented a few big businesses including G1 Group, Caledonia Inns and Signature pubs. However the misinformation seemed to start to gain traction and somehow the narrative that deposit return was going to also be disastrous for the hospitality industry too gained hold.  

Meanwhile, in the race to be leader of the SNP, deposit return started to feature heavily, after Kate Forbes pledged to scrap deposits. Ash Regan followed suit in declaring she would reverse decisions on deposit return, and Humza Yousaf said that he would pause the scheme and exempt the smallest businesses. This further fuelled media coverage on deposit return and gave it visibility beyond Scottish media outlets. 

In addition to the campaign waged in the media, corporate interests were heavily lobbying in the background. The Ferret reported on 2 April that the Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Retail Consortium had registered the most meetings with ministers and other MSPs and more than half of lobbying against deposit return came from representatives of the whisky industry.  A Transparency International UK blog written after the DRS was put on ice until the UK scheme, found that, in the year to early 2023, trade organisations with concerns about deposit return had 218 meetings with Ministers and MSPs, whilst environmental NGOs in support had only 12 meetings. “One lobby group, the Scotch Whisky Association, alone held 42 meetings” says the blog.   

In addition to this there was, of course, the lobbying that was going on at Westminster.  The UK Parliament does not have an equivalent lobbying register to Scotland, and so these meetings have gone unrecorded. However the lobbying there must have been intense, as it was cited multiple times by UK Tory politicians in their reasons for intervening in the Scottish Deposit return scheme.4 

The Internal Market Act

This brings us to the next chapter of the deposit return scheme saga – the Internal Markets Act and the intervention of UK Ministers.

In January, DEFRA announced the scope of deposit systems not just for England but also Wales and Northern Ireland, with the Welsh system to include glass – and citing no apparent issues with that or with the long-planned Scottish system. Nevertheless, on 27th February, the first indication that the IMA could be invoked to stop the deposit return scheme came in The Times, just 24 hours before the deadline for producers to sign up. The Times quoted ‘a UK source’ saying “The present scheme is in deep trouble and that is before the UK government has been asked to relax laws protecting cross-border trade”. This was subsequently reported in other media outlets.

The previous day we had been told that a message was posted to the anti-deposit return WhatsApp group which said a UK Government source had said that an exemption would not be granted and that the DRS will be halted. It suggested that producers should not sign up to the agreement with Circularity Scotland.

Radio 4 Today programme got in touch and arranged for me to come in for a substantial section they were planning on the deposit return scheme at 745am on 28th February. I had a chat about it with a producer the day before – it would be about whether IMA would be used and what impact it would have. I was picked up by taxi and taken to the Edinburgh studios to be interviewed by Mishal Husain. However, just before I went in I was told that the section would be much shorter and no longer be about IMA. It seemed that they could find no one from the UK government to confirm the Times piece and so they pulled the section.

The Times article, and the WhatsApp message, had achieved their presumed purpose though, and many small producers failed to sign up for the scheme by the deadline. The Scottish Government avoided mention of numbers of producers that had signed up in their announcement in the Parliament the next day – announcing instead that the scheme covered 95% of drinks sold in single-use containers in Scotland.

On 13 March the The Herald reported that Alister Jack was lobbying his fellow cabinet ministers to reject the IMA exemption and on 19 May we, along with NGOs from Scotland, Wales and the UK, wrote to PM Rishi Sunak to ask that the IMA not be used to stop the deposit return scheme in Scotland. 

We saw the IMA as an existential threat to the deposit return scheme – and also to other environmental legislation in the devolved nations. The IMA was put in place, according to the UK Government, to replace the rules of the European Single Market after Brexit, however it differs from it markedly in many ways. One of these is that the single market has a derogation for environmental legislation, and for public health, which means that the DRS would not have been affected if we were still in the EU. When the IMA was being debated in the UK Parliament in October 2020, a question was asked directly whether this would affect the Scottish Deposit return scheme and received assurances from Lord Callanan that “we are confident that the deposit return scheme can be brought into effect in full compliance with the market access principles that we have set out in this legislation”. 

Lord Callaghan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) offers assurances in the House of Lords regarding the Scottish deposit return scheme and the IMA. 26 October 2020

Between early March and June, the issue of the IMA became a mass of confusion as Alister Jack insisted ‘no formal request’ had been received until 6 March 2023. Our understanding of the IMA, as stated in the Government’s own documents, was that DEFRA, rather than the Scottish Office, owned the process for amendments and so Thérèse Coffey was the Minister responsible. In the other corner, the Scottish Government said there was no such thing as a “formal” request within the process outlined for an exemption and had started working through the process outlined in the ‘common frameworks’ in July 2021, at the same time as the single use plastics ban, which they received.

By this stage, the deposit return scheme had moved firmly from being a hostage to fortune in the SNP leadership race and a Holyrood political football, to become (to overplay the cliches) collateral damage in the mission of some on the right of the UK Tory party to roll-back devolution. 

On 18 April Humza Yousaf gave his first speech as First Minister and two of his three key announcements for business were wins for the alcohol industry. He said that the deposit return scheme would be delayed a further 6 months, and there would be changes, and he declared that he would take the ban on alcohol advertising ‘back to the drawing board’. On 24th April Scotch Whisky even got a mention when he spoke to Rishi Sunak, at their first meeting, on their behalf about reversing the decision to increase duty on alcohol.

Humza Yousaf gives his first speech as the First Minister on 18 April 2023, announcing a further delay to deposit return and ‘back to the drawing board’ for the ban on alcohol advertising

The day after Yousaf delayed the deposit return scheme, Lord Frost, ex CEO of the Scottish Whisky Association, and arch-Brexit campaigner, wrote an article in the Telegraph saying that the mess in the SNP showed it was time to roll back devolution, and lamenting that the UK Government hadn’t made better use of the IMA to date.

The decision from Westminster on the IMA took its time coming. The UK Government delayed their decision on the IMA and it soon became obvious that the UK Government did not have to actually use a decision of the IMA to jeopardise the deposit return scheme, merely delaying a decision, and the vagaries of how the system worked, created enough uncertainty to nearly bring down the scheme.    

Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity answers Themed Questions in the Scottish Parliament June 7 2023

There seemed to be disagreement between Alister Jack – who wanted it refused, and DEFRA, who were working on the Welsh and the English schemes, and presumably saw trouble ahead for their schemes if it was refused. The First Minister issued an ultimatum on a date they would need to have a decision or he would cancel the deposit return scheme due to uncertainty for businesses.

Eventually, on 27 May, the response came in a joint letter from three Secretary of States: Michael Gove, Thérèse Coffey and Alister Jack. The letter gave a limited IMA exemption.

This was only three days after Alister Jack had given evidence at the Scottish Affairs Committee on 24 May claiming that the right paperwork, including the relevant assessments, had still not been submitted. That same day Rishi Sunak used deposit return scheme in a riposte to a Parliamentary Question from the SNP on the cost of living crisis.

The decision from the UK Government was that the Scottish deposit return scheme could go ahead only if glass was not included, and also added a number of other conditions including compatibility with the (as yet unplanned) English scheme.

The UK Government’s own position on deposit return schemes, as of January 2023, was that “it is the responsibility of each nation of the UK to decide the scope of its own DRS in a way that fits its policy needs”5. DEFRA’s response to the consultation on the new deposit return scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland recommended glass should be in the Welsh scheme, and noted that it was included in the Scottish scheme.  

As mentioned at the start of this blog the Scottish Tories had campaigned for glass to be included in the Scottish Deposit return scheme in 2019. The Tory position had changed – but when? The Scottish papers reported donations to the Tory Party from organisations with an interest in glass, including Heineken and the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, with headlines implying a connection to their view that glass should now not be included.6

Mr Philip Hollobone MP (Kettering, Conservative) 26 May 2022 – Government proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme.

On 26 May 2022 Conservative MP Philip Hollobone said in the Commons that “A huge 86% of respondents to the Government’s first consultation on the deposit return scheme said they want glass to be included but, despite this overwhelming majority support from technical experts, charities, scientists and the great British public, calls for glass to be included have been ignored.

He went on to say, specifically on the lobbying question, that: “The case has been made that including glass is problematic. However, this case has been made by glass industry lobbyists who have a vested interest in ensuring glass containers are not included in such a scheme.”

The IMA exemption gave little reasoning for excluding glass, attributing it wholly to representation they had received from business. Alister Jack, said the same at the Scottish Affairs Committee, reporting that he had received 1000s of representations from business asking to take glass out. More recently, at a 4 July meeting of the Liaison Committee, Rishi Sunak admitted that it was the “drinks industry” that raised issues relating to the inclusion of glass in the Deposit Return Scheme.

Rishi Sunak gives evidence to the House of Commons Liaison Committee on 4 July and is questioned about relations between UK Government and devolved nations and talks about deposit return

On 6th June Humza Yousaf chaired an online meeting, which Lorna Slater also attended, with business stakeholders. The minutes of the meeting have been released by FoI.

The next day, despite representation from BIFFA, the waste management contractors for DRS, and Circularity Scotland saying that a deposit return scheme was viable without glass, Lorna Slater announced that the scheme would be delayed until the UK scheme came in – October 2025 at the earliest, primarily citing the UK Government’s other requirements around harmonisation with the planned UK system.  

What next for the campaign and deposit return?

Our view is that the scheme should have gone ahead – enough remained of environmental benefit in a scheme without glass. And we know that in schemes where glass is not included, they are often amended to include glass at a later date. By delaying again indefinitely, confidence in the Government to deliver would be at rock bottom, and it would also increase the chances of the Welsh and English systems not going ahead.

Our concern is that the campaign that brought down the Scottish scheme is moving on to the English and Welsh schemes – in fact we already see it in progress. We need to learn from what has happened in Scotland and use our knowledge and experience to ensure that the English/UK scheme cannot be subject to the same corporate interest lobbying.

As for APRS – we continue to support an all-in deposit return scheme for Scotland and we will use the experience that we have gained from the ‘Have you Got the Bottle?’ campaign to support our colleagues in England and in Wales campaigning for their schemes. We will continue to advocate on circular economy initiatives, and to work with the many many litter picking groups and local campaigners passionate about the difference that deposit return would make to the situation of litter on the ground. We need to help our UK-based colleagues to hold the UK Government’s feet to the fire over their own commitments on deposit return and continue to advocate to the Scottish Government to improve their actions towards a circular economy. 

Postscript

On the day that deposit return was cancelled there were press releases from a few organisations welcoming it, as tweeted by Chris Musson of the Scottish Sun.  One from the Wine and Spirits Trade Association was  particularly notable to us as it claimed that they “led the charge” to remove glass from the scheme. This was interesting to see as we had not seen them quoted in any of the media stories as the campaign built up from November 2022, and there were just two press releases (both from March 2023) on their website about deposit return since 2020. They also had not done any lobbying of MSP or Scottish Government Ministers – nothing was recorded in the Scottish Lobbying Register.

If they are claiming to have “led the charge” on the campaign – what, then, could that mean?  Presumably they had been working largely behind the scenes. This could have been lobbying at Westminster but there isn’t a lobbying record as there is in the Scottish Parliament. The Wine and Spirits Trade Association were also the origin of the £20,000 donation to the Tory party which caused some ripples in the Scottish Press which suggested it was linked to the Tory change of position on glass.  They are also the secretariat of the Wine and Spirits All-Party Group – the equivalent to the cross-party groups at Holyrood, the current chair of the group being Graham Brady MP. Perhaps an enterprising journalist might want to ask what work was entailed in ‘leading the charge’?

Of course the Wine and Spirits Trade Association will be only one of the big business interests who have had a heavy influence on the story of the demise of the deposit return scheme. I already mentioned the Scotch Whisky Association and the Whisky Industry in general which had shown to be heavily lobbying Scottish politicians, particularly Tories. We also know that British Glass, with 27 meetings with MSPs and Ministers to oppose glass in the scheme, will have been working very hard in the background along with many others. 

This is all a cautionary tale for our colleagues in England and Wales as they prepare to face the same campaign, battle-hardened and with a well-practised strategy. It is certain the goal was never to delay until business was ready to go with deposit return. The best way to stop something happening is to say you support it, but work against it in the background. And that is exactly what we saw from the campaign against deposit return. The lines shifted over time but went from “We just need more time to deliver this” to “We support deposit return schemes but just this scheme isn’t ready” to “We support deposit return in general just not this one, it needs to be cancelled”. In Scotland’s case we are now seeing a shift from “you shouldn’t go it alone, this should be UK-wide” back to the start with “this whole system undermines small producers across the UK”.

The campaign strategy worked to delay, and then to delay again, and then finally to kick it into the long grass (until a UK-wide scheme can come in). The aim now will be to do the same with the UK-wide scheme.  

Footnotes:

  1. The UK Internal Market Act (2020) or IMA was put in place after Brexit as a replacement to the EU Single Market rules. It had a number of differences including no automatic derogation for environment and public health legislation. ↩︎
  2. The Latvia, Malta and Slovakia schemes started in 2022, Netherlands expanded to include cans in 2022. ↩︎
  3. Changes announced on 20 April in response to small business pressure
    drinks containers of under 100ml will be excluded, removing miniatures and other smaller containers from the scheme
    products that sell fewer than 5,000 units per year will be excluded, which will particularly benefit craft producers
    all hospitality premises that sell the large majority of their drinks products for consumption on the premises will be exempt from acting as a return point
    the online application process for retailers to apply for an exemption from providing a return point has been simplified ↩︎
  4. The paragraph explaining why glass was not included in the IMA exemption cites the concerns expressed by industry with no balance from the clear advantages to a scheme of including glass that was the conclusion of their consultation. Alister Jack, in his evidence to the Scottish Affairs committee cites the interventions he has had from industry in why he has intervened with the IMA, saying he had received over 1000 letters from businesses who are against the deposit return scheme. ↩︎
  5. Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – government response (publishing.service.gov.uk) ↩︎
  6. Media reports on a number of donations and connections between Tories and their change in position on glass
    Maurice Golden U-turns on DRS after Heineken gifts 
    Malcolm Offord whisky firm shares ‘raises questions’ over DRS stance  ↩︎

By Kat Jones, Director of APRS, August 2023

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