All-inclusive DRS
© Natasha Ewins

Deposit Return Scheme

Drinks containers such as glass, plastic bottles and aluminium cans are a blight on our beaches. Data from the Great British Beach Clean 2019 shows a worrying increase in drinks containers of all forms littering the UK’s coastline. Over the last 26 years, since the Great British Beach Clean began in 1994, data collected by MCS has shown a 32% increase in beverage containers across the UK.

DRS Litter at Crantock Beach
© Natasha Ewins

WHAT IS DRS?

For every drinks container you buy, you’d pay a small deposit. Then, when you return the drinks container to a collection point - such as the retailer or supermarket- you would get this money back…Simple!

Such schemes can reduce littering, increase high quality recycling and reduce costs for local authorities. Like the carrier bag charge, it’s a simple idea with an immediate effect.

DRS are already in place in countries and states around the world. In South Australia which has a DRS, only 2.9% of litter is beverage containers, whilst in Western Australia with no DRS, drinks containers make up 13% of litter.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR?

WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Stand by! Keep up to date with DRS progress by signing up to our e-newsletter

For updates on Scotland’s progress, follow the Have You Got The Bottle? Campaign, of which MCS is a founding member.

Read the eunomia report on DRS

Actions you can take

  1. See our map of reported bottle sightings
  2. Report your #wildbottlesighting using our form
  3. Survey showing public support
  4. Take your own reusable bottle out and about
  5. Join the Plastic Challenge

Did you know?…

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces