Glass Bottles Excluded from DRS in England and Northern Ireland

Glass Bottles Excluded from DRS in England and Northern Ireland

Glass bottles have been seen for a long time as an environmentally-friendly form of packaging, something that is crucial for businesses seeking to improve their sustainability. Glass’ position as a sustainable packing material received a further boost last month when glass bottles were excluded from the upcoming Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England and Northern Ireland.

Not being part of the DRS will make glass bottles the go-to packaging choice in a lot of circumstances, supporting the economy as it transitions towards more sustainable choices.

How Does the DRS Recycling Scheme Work?

The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will involve a small ‘deposit’ being added to the cost of drinks in single-use containers, such as plastic bottles. To get the deposit back, customers can return their single-use bottles to a recycling point, such as the store it was purchased from or ‘reverse vending machines’ which are being set up in some locations.

The DRS will put the impetus on the consumer to both reduce littering and improve recycling rates for single-use containers. However, the additional steps involved may lead to consumers turning away from single-use drinks where the packaging is part of DRS.

It’s important to note that each devolved nation of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) will be introducing their variation of DRS. Scotland is set to begin in 2023, whereas the scheme is pencilled for the other nations in late 2024.

What Materials are Covered by the DRS?

As each nation in the UK is operating its own DRS system, there are slight variations on what will or won’t be included in each location.

Some materials are widely expected to be a part of all DRS schemes, such as:
  • PET Plastic
  • Metal, such as cans

Glass has been excluded from DRS schemes in England and Northern Ireland. However, glass is still being included as part of DRS in Scotland and Wales. Industry groups are campaigning to change this, and are hopeful that amendments can be made before any rollout.

More Advantages for Using Glass Packaging

The decision by England and Northern Ireland adds another clear advantage to companies choosing glass packaging over alternatives.

For a long time, it’s been argued that glass packaging will be a key part of our sustainable future. Miles Beale, the Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said “the WSTA has argued – often as a lone voice – that the best way to increase glass recycling rates is to improve kerbside collection, rather than introduce a completely new regime.”

The environmental benefits of glass packaging sit alongside a host of other advantages. Glass has always been seen by consumers as a luxury material, offering a beautiful solution, while it’s also incredibly safe for storing food and drink without impacting taste.

As the importance of glass grows, more businesses will be looking at how they can transition to glass packaging. At JBC, we offer a huge range of glass packaging solutions with a design to suit any business.

Now is the right time to look beyond the traditional uses of glass packaging and see it as the number one choice for a sustainable future. Browse our range today or contact us to see how we could help your business.