What the UK can learn from Europe’s oldest deposit return scheme

With the UK government committed to introducing a scheme to pay bottle recyclers, Sweden, which has been doing it for decades, can provide some useful pointers, finds Conor McGlone

Reverse vending machine
Sweden’s Returpack is the oldest deposit return scheme in Europe

Green groups celebrated in March when environment secretary Michael Gove gave the green light for a deposit return scheme (DRS). The government is understood to have been impressed by the success of a number of overseas DRS initiatives, with evidence suggesting schemes in Europe have helped push recycling rates close to 90%, in contrast to the UK, where recycling rates for single-use plastic bottles have languished around the 60% mark.

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