CCEP: deposit schemes need clarity

By Paul Gander

- Last updated on GMT

CCEP is pushing for a Deposit Return Scheme that avoids confusion for its customers
CCEP is pushing for a Deposit Return Scheme that avoids confusion for its customers
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is pressing for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in the UK that avoids any potential confusion for consumers, makes it easy for them to recover their deposits and is managed by a single not-for-profit company.

The business, which could benefit hugely from the increased volumes and improved quality of post-consumer recyclate (PCR) from a single-stream DRS, said it had learnt from its involvement with systems in other national markets, in Europe and beyond.

“We want to use the power of our brands to encourage consumers to do the right thing,” ​Nick Brown, head of sustainability, told Food Manufacture. “There’s still confusion about what can be recycled and how it can be recycled.”

No VAT levied on deposits

He added that, in CCEP’s view, there needed to be no penalty for consumers who returned their empty bottles: in other words, plenty of return points, and no VAT levied on deposits.

Consumer messages should be consistent, too, said Brown. “Across the whole of Britain, there would need to be a common framework with common elements and ways of communicating.

“Having good financial management and fraud control is really important,”​ he added.

In terms of ensuring Coca-Cola in the UK had the necessary volumes and quality of PCR, said Brown, the last 10 years had been a learning process.

CCEP’s PCR requirements

For the past few years, Plastipak’s Clean-Tech plant in Lincolnshire has been supplying a quarter of CCEP’s PCR requirements for the market, but these amounts were expected to rise further. 

“Our aim is to reach 50% recycled content in all our bottles by 2020,”​ he said. “In the meantime, we will start to put 40% into our larger bottles starting at the end of this year.”

Brown pointed out that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was currently reviewing waste and resource policies, potentially including producer responsibility schemes, the incentivising of design-for-recycling and a more harmonised system of local authority household collection.

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