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Radnor Hills CEO elected BSDA president

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

William Watkins is the new president of the BSDA
William Watkins is the new president of the BSDA
William Watkins, founder and chief executive of drinks firm Radnor Hills, has been elected president of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA).

He takes over from Paul Graham, GB managing director at Britvic, who has served as president since 2021. During his time in the role, Graham led the BSDA as a founder-member of Circularity Scotland, a scheme administrator for Scotland’s since-delayed deposit return scheme.

Pete Charles, managing director at Red Bull since 2018, has been elected to replace Watkins as vice president of the BSDA.

Message to the government

Watkins kicked off his tenure with a message to the Welsh Government, in which he called for an interoperable deposit return scheme to support recycling.

Commenting on his appointment, Watkins said: “It is such a crucial time for the industry as we head towards setting up a Deposit Return Scheme, along with retailers and alcohol producers, to deliver a realistic and practical system to return and recycle our containers in a more sustainable way.

“I aim to continue the fine work of Paul and past BSDA presidents by making further progress on a wide range of issues affecting and involving soft drinks, particularly those related to reducing litter and increasing recycling.”

Radnor Hills

Founded by Watkins in 1990, Radnor Hills is reportedly Wales’s largest soft drinks manufacturer, producing 400 million drinks a year.

Earlier this month, the producer appointed Simon Knight as its new managing director,​ as Watkins transitioned to the role of chief executive.

“I also want to promote our fantastic industry by highlighting both the economic benefits it delivers for our country and the vast array of drinks, mainly in the low-calorie sector, that BDSA members offer consumers for all kinds of drinking occasions,”​ Watkins added.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has announced plans for the introduction of a deposit return scheme from October 2027,​ pushing back the previously agreed date of October 2025.

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