The controversial Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is dividing opinion in the industry with many retailers seeing as an unnecessary and expensive solution that once again leaves retailers having to do the hard work and incur yet more cost.
Sukhi Sangha: Day Today, Lochside
As retailers we are having to deal with more changes and new legislation which are having a huge financial impact on our businesses. This is one we could do without. DRS would cause concerns due to space allocation, storage, cost and hygiene. It should not be imposed on us; it should be a voluntary initiative.
Consumers don’t want to spend hours standing in queues with bags recycling. Local authorities in Scotland already have their own schemes which are successful. Retailers would have to increase staff hours to manage scheme but we are already struggling with enough as it is without DRS.
Arjan Mehr: Londis Retailer
Just when we thought we were turning a corner and it couldn’t get any worse, governments on both sides of the border come up with another ill-judged idea without looking at the implication of their actions. We shop keepers have enough challenges without over the top regulation in the convenience sector and now this. The obsession that small businesses on wafer thin margins are an easy target for incompetent councils whilst local people have little or no obligation about how they conduct their lives has really become a joke. Cleaning up after irresponsible public becomes our responsibility.
James Lowman: ACS Chief Executive
A deposit return scheme would bring massive new burdens on local shops, add cost to the supply chain, and lead to less recycling through local authority kerbside collections. More than 90% of stores in the sector are under 2,000sq ft, so finding space to fit a reverse vending machine or to take potentially hundreds of bottles and cans behind the till every week is an expensive challenge. For those that can’t put a machine in, staff in store would have to manually administer the scheme at the till point, creating queues and potential flashpoints with customers that may have packaging not eligible for a deposit refund.
Kate Salmon: SWA Executive Director
It’s convenient to recycle at home, so why would someone take empty cans and bottles to their local store or another central location, even if there is a monetary incentive? Wholesalers and our retail customers would also be hit by millions of pounds of extra costs – more warehouse space will be needed for Scottish-only product lines, retail space will be used for return vending machines that cost around £35,000 and storage space will have to be used for returned bottles rather than stock. They would also have to cope with a potential new illicit cross-border trade in plastic bottles.