Responses to the consultations on the deposit return scheme (DRS) and consistent collections will be published by Defra early in the new year, it has been announced.
The responses are long overdue, and were expected in 2022. It is believed that the responses to the DRS will be announced first in January 2023, followed by the consistent collection’s responses shortly afterwards.
Thérèse Coffey, environment secretary, is known to favour a DRS and wants to get it over the line. One option under consideration is that the Environment Agency takes on the central body role, which would see it administering more than £1 billion of public funds from brand owners and others to pay local authorities for the collection of recycling.
Defra this month wrote to both collection and disposal authorities asking them to fill out a questionnaire to determine any obstacles for rolling out separate food waste collections. In the private sector, Defra has been meeting with trade associations behind closed doors to thrash out final details of EPR.