England introduces deposit system with Coca-Cola’s support

Amsterdam, 6 April 2018 –British Environment Minister Michael Gove has announced that England will introduce a deposit system on all single-use drinks packaging during this term of government. This includes packaging made from plastic, metal and glass. Later this year a consultation session will be held, but a deposit system will definitely be introduced. Read the official press release by the government.

An estimated 13 billion drinks in single-use packaging are sold in the United Kingdom every year. Only a limited number are recycled and much ends up in the environment. The announcement only applies to England. Scotland and Wales announced recently that they would also introduce deposit systems. Minister Gove called deposit systems “a game changer” in the fight against plastic soup.

Unlike the Netherlands, the United Kingdom does not have any form of deposit system yet and a whole new infrastructure has to be set up with machines to collect deposit bottles.

Coca-Cola long resisted fiercely against the introduction of a deposit system, just as it did in other countries. But now the multinational is fully embracing its introduction and even calls the decision a “once-in-a-generation opportunity”.

Julian Hunt, vice president of Coca-Cola in Europe, told Sky News that he was “really pleased” to hear the plans. He supports the deposit system as a solution to the increasing concerns about plastic. “We see that current methods collect 60 to 70%, but that is not good enough”. He wants to see cooperation with the British government, but also wants to see a single system introduced into the United Kingdom to keeps costs down for businesses and to prevent confusion among consumers.

Maria Westerbos Plastic Soup Foundation director: “This is particularly good news. But the million-dollar question is why Coca-Cola Netherlands hasn’t adopted the same rhetoric as Coca-Cola Europe and openly embraced the expansion of the Dutch deposit system to include small bottles and tins. How much longer do we have to wait?”