AQW 19866/17-22 – Deposit Return Scheme

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to detail any plans he has to legislate for a refundable deposit for plastic bottles and aluminium cans.

Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: My officials have been developing options for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers, alongside England and Wales to ensure consistency for major UK suppliers and retailers.

I launched a second public consultation on options for the DRS in Northern Ireland on 24 March 2021, which closed on 4th June 2021. My department alongside England and Wales is currently analysing the consultation responses and a summary will be issued in due course. This process will be followed by additional stakeholder engagement where necessary to enable me to determine the correct path forward for the scheme. Implementation of the proposed Deposit Return Scheme is expected in 2024.