Consumer concerns of a Deposit Return Scheme

In 2025, the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will be introduced in the UK. While the scheme has been perceived as an effective method in reducing litter and encouraging recycling, and has been a success in many other countries, there have also been concerns amongst retailers (in particular smaller independents) over the logistics of collecting and storing potentially large volumes of cans and bottles. However, our research shows that despite a highly positive impression of DRS, consumers also have some concerns about such an initiative, which retailers should consider when rolling it out in-store.

In our Sustainability Study (April 2022) we found that 77% of Scottish consumers think the DRS is a good scheme. This positivity is largely due to it being aimed at helping the environment; to be more specific, respondents mentioned:

  • It encourages people to recycle even more than they may already do
  • It will reduce litter
  • There will be a reduction in single use plastics

Consumers also voice some concerns though, which retailers and drinks manufacturers will need to consider when the scheme is introduced.

However, these are all opportunities for brands to engage with their customers and help ease their concerns, whether it be through new pack solutions, providing storage/ carrying solutions, or offering collection services. The most successful brands and retailers will be those who offer effective DRS solutions that meet the financial, convenience and accessibility needs of their customers.

Impact is working closely with a number of clients looking at DRS and the potential impact on consumer purchase and sustainable behaviours. If you would like to find out how we can help you to prepare for DRS, then get in touch with Tom Gould, Head of Consumer:

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