Conservative politician brings deposit return machine trial to Wales

Members of the National Assembly for Wales will today get to trial a deposit return machine to assess the impact that it could have on reducing plastic and can pollution in Wales.

The occasion aims to emphasise just how easy the process of returning your single use cans and bottles for money can be.

The event which will be sponsored by David Melding AM, with a machine provided by TOMRA – who install thousands of machines globally - comes at a time when DRS is high on the agenda. A DEFRA/Welsh Government consultation is expected to be launched in the coming weeks in England and Wales.

A deposit return scheme sees consumers pay an up-front deposit when they buy a drink, ranging from 8p in Sweden to 22p in Germany, which is redeemed on return of the empty drink container. Possible variants of a deposit return scheme include cash rewards for returning drinks containers without an upfront deposit. Similar schemes already operate in countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Speaking prior to the event, South Wales Central AM – Mr Melding – said:

“Assembly Members have a real opportunity to experience just how practical and accessible this system can operate in real life.

“These types of schemes in other countries have raised recycling rates to above 90%. Germany, for example, introduced such a scheme in 2003 and now around 99% of plastic bottles get recycled.

“It’s too good an opportunity for us to miss, and we need to commit to such a scheme so that we can start to feel the benefits as soon as possible.”