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Coca-Cola European Partners calls for cross-border alignment in UK deposit return scheme

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The UK head of Coca-Cola European Partners has warned that any earlier implementation of a deposit return scheme in Scotland compared to the rest of Great Britain would cause "significant logistical and manufacturing challenges" for the soft drinks industry.

A difference in deposit return schemes in Scotland and the rest of the UK could cause challenges for soft drinks companies

A difference in deposit return schemes in Scotland and the rest of the UK could cause challenges for soft drinks companies

Speaking at the British Soft Drinks Association annual lunch yesterday, Leendert Den Hollander said the industry is supportive of DRS and backs the Government's "ambition" in realising it. A failure to align DRS north and south of the border, however, would have consequences for manufacturers, Den Hollander noted.

Scotland is due to launch its own DRS in 2021. Meanwhile, a scheme for England and Ireland is still in the consultancy phase and will not roll out until 2023 at the earliest. If Scotland's plan comes into force ahead of England and Wales, soft drinks producers may have to manufacture different packaging for Scottish consumers. Scottish plans also include glass containers alongside plastic, whereas an England and Wales plan may not.

"We urge governments across Britain to work together to deliver one consistent approach that's easy to for all consumers to use," Den Hollander said. 

Speaking at the lunch as the BSDA's current chairman, CCEP's GM for the UK said the UK soft drinks industry backs DRS.

"There is enough data to suggest DRS can play a positive role in the recovery of materials turning used bottle into new bottles," Den Hollander said. "We agree on the objective, we just need a system that enables us to do this."

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