DEFRA Delays DRS Scheme

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have announced that the UK’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will be delayed till October 2027 rather than in October 2025.

The scheme includes steel and aluminium cans, PET bottles, but doesn’t include glass bottles. The Welsh Government have decided to include glass in their DRS scheme unlike England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

A new timeline has been established for the implementation of the DRS scheme, which consists of three phases:

> Phase 1 (By Spring 2025) – Regulation and deposit management organisation (DMO) appointment: DMOs will be selected and regulations across all administrations will be finalised.

> Phase 2 (Spring 2025 to Spring 2026) – DMO Set-Up: The establishment of DMOs that are able to effectively manage the DRS will be prioritised. There will be a variety of activities that will be undertaken, such as IT setup and infrastructure development.

> Phase 3 (Spring 2026 to Autumn 2027) – Rollout: Operational readiness is the main aim of this final phase, that includes initiating national collection infrastructure, consumer engagement campaigns and return-point retailer preparations. By the end of this period, the DRS scheme will be fully functional all over the UK.

The delay in rolling out this scheme implies that DEFRA has acknowledged how vital the groundwork of this project is and how the big-ticket items will boost the circular economy when prioritised. A significant step has been taken for the environment, consumers, and the economy, by extending producer responsibility and with recyclable packaging being the most affordable choice for producers (quoted from Gavin Graveson, the senior executive Vice President at Veolia).

The DRS Scheme will drastically improve the reduction and recycling of materials; a positive contribution to reaching Net Zero and in protecting our environment. This scheme is a vital step in achieving recycling rates of single-use drinks containers to at least 90%, which will allow these materials to be collected and reprocessed, reducing the amount of litter. [1]

How Can WPSCC Help?

At WPSCC we love to make a difference by helping our clients to minimise the impact their operations have on the environment. We offer a range of environmental services such as Environmental Permitting, Environmental Management System, and Waste Classification.

Waste Classification Services refer to specialised services offered to help organisations properly classify and manage their waste materials. Waste classification involves determining the type, composition, and potential hazards of waste, which is crucial for appropriate handling, storage, transportation, and disposal. Waste classification ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and reduces the risk of environmental contamination and health hazards. 


Call us NOW on 01604 859961, or email [email protected] to ask our advice / guidance.


[1] Guest, H. 2024. Defra officially delays DRS scheme to 2027. Letsrecycle. [ONLINE]. Available at: 

More To Explore

We use cookies on our site by continuing to browse our site, you agree to the use of these cookies. You can read our cookie policy and learn more here