Welsh government confirms it will still include glass in its DRS 



The Welsh government has reaffirmed its commitment to including glass in its deposit return scheme, following its delay until October 2027.

Wales’ deposit return scheme (DRS) will include PET plastic, aluminium, steel, and glass. The Welsh government said excluding glass could lead to producers switching to less environmentally friendly materials and make the glass sector less competitive.

The Welsh government agreed to delay the implementation of DRS in Wales in line with the other nations so that the UK schemes will be brought in at the same time in October 2027. Last week, Recycling Minister Robbie Moore confirmed the UK government had delayed England’s DRS.

In a written statement, Huw Irranca-Davies, Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, said industry now needs to begin preparations for the scheme “at pace”.

Irranca-Davies said the Wales’ position is informed by the results of a joint consultation with the UK government in which 86% of respondents supported including glass in a DRS. 

The written statement said including glass remains consistent with the final scheme design, agreed and published jointly with the UK government following the consultation and is consistent with the Scottish government’s preferred approach.

The misuse of the Internal Market Act as a means to restrict devolution is not about the market.

Last year, Scotland’s DRS collapsed after the UK government declined a request for full exclusion from the Internal Market Act, which meant Scotland could not include glass in its scheme. 

The Environment Secretary Steve Barclay has said the UK government would also decline a request from the Welsh government for full exclusion from the Internal Market Act.

Huw Irranca-Davies wrote: “The misuse of the Internal Market Act as a means to restrict devolution is not about the market – as evidenced by the UK government’s refusal to reexamine its decision to diverge from what was the common position. 

“Our objection to the Act lies in the fact that it is open to abuse as it places all the power with the UK government and goes far beyond the structures needed to ensure economic and regulatory cooperation between the nations of the UK. 

“Innovation is a key part of a successful common market; it does not serve the interests of the UK as a whole to stifle Wales’ ability to innovate and seek to tie it to the lowest common denominator. The Internal Market Act should not be used to seek to impose policy on devolved governments, regardless of our own policy aims or very different domestic context.”

The written statement also said that international examples demonstrate that different approaches to DRS within a single market are “eminently feasible”.

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