Institute of Economic Affairs: deposit return scheme makes no ‘economic sense’

Free market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has said the government’s proposed deposit return scheme (DRS) should be abandoned unless a more robust economic case can be made.

In a report published this week, the IEA said the running costs of the government’s proposed DRS for drinks cans and bottles meant the initiative would be “a very expensive way of achieving very little”.

The government, which is currently consulting on the introduction of a DRS, estimates it will  cost almost £1bn to set up and subsequently £814m a year to maintain. The IEA points out that, according to the government's own estimates, the scheme will collect recyclables worth just £37m.

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