Bira expresses concern over new Deposit Return Scheme

The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA)  has said it has major concerns over the introduction of the deposit return scheme announced by the government this month.

The association, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has said they have a ‘genuine concern’ about the deposit return scheme (DRS) due to its complexity and the extra pressures placed on independent businesses.

The government released its report on January 20 which highlighted that it would be working through the next phase of development, including the legislation and necessary steps to ensure it will work in practice.

However, BIRA CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “I have genuine concerns about any proposed DRS scheme in England. We have already learned from previous consultations with devolved governments in Scotland and Wales that any DRS scheme is complex and will be a burden on businesses – small and large.

“Given the rising costs of doing business in the current climate, the last thing we need is to impose further costs on hard-pressed indie retailers. We all want to improve recycling levels and there are different approaches to consider, such as increasing the number of recycling points for the general public to use and encouraging manufacturers to move away from plastic and glass bottles (high energy production and high energy recycling) to aluminium containers.

“Recent reports have confirmed the difficult trading environment for the smaller retailers and they must be allowed to focus on their business and not be distracted by unwelcome schemes such as DRS. Whatever is done in England, we need to see alignment with Scotland and Wales so that the rules and systems are the same in all the countries. All too often we see a lack of coordination across many regulations and this complexity simply add costs and confusion to the business owners,” he added.

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