Advanced Sustainable Developments (ASD) wishes to contribute to DEFRA’s consultation on the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, notably on Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) for drink containers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

We are an innovative recycling company whose focus currently is in the North West of England where we have the intention to set up a PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) Recycling Plant. With this we aim to introduce DRS, with ASD’s Recycle Exchange (REX).

REX is an ‘on-the-go’ recycling concept system that combines proven Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) and Out of Home (OOH) Advertising technologies. Plastic bottles will be deposited into the system by citizens in return for a financial reward that can be used to buy new goods or donate to a chosen charity. Advertising revenues will be shared with our landlord partners and used to fund the payments to citizens.

Recycle Exchange aims to have impact across society, being inclusive of everyone. One aspect of REX is that there is an intention to help rehabilitate homeless people in the North West. Manchester has the highest rate of rough sleepers outside of the capital and with REX we hope to help reduce this figure and help rehabilitation through the scheme – charitable donations from citizens and also opportunities for rough sleepers to deposit bottles in return for meals or a room for the night.

ASD has strategically chosen the North West because of their shared, green vision- Manchester recently hosted a Green Summit and Liverpool aims to become the world’s first climate positive city by the end of 2020. By operating a PET plastic recycling plant which would turn waste plastic into food-grade materials. The plant will use innovative technology to recycle PET plastic with a vision to ultimately work along the entire journey of a plastic bottle – from the distribution centre, to the stores, in the consumers hand, the disposal (Recycle Exchange) and ultimately the return of this material to our own processing facilities. A truly circular economy.

ASD wish the following points to be contributed to the consultation:

  • We urge Government to consider supporting local DRS schemes now, before legislation is in place. The public should not have to wait 3 three years to solve the UK’s waste problem with single-use plastic (this is how long we expect it will take from consultation to citizen deposit). Organisations such as ours, have a solution which can be implemented now and could then be rolled out nationally.
  • We believe Government should utilise existing local DRS infrastructure, avoiding unnecessary cost and confusion to consumers. A joined-up approach is the way forward in tackling our waste problem.
  • ASD urges Government to look to Europe and see successful DRS in countries such as Germany. What is clear from Germany is that Government must focus on ‘on-the-go’ and support organisations who are actively trying to implement DRS and reduce plastic waste.
  • In relation to landlords, ASD calls for Government to not exclude landlords from using devolved authority to use additional alternative RVM solutions in addition to the mandated number of deposit return scheme RVMs they will have to use.
  • Importantly, ASD are keen that DRS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be transparent with consumers being able to track their recycling which will ultimately create a sense of responsibility for personal, on-the-go waste. ASD would like to see PET Bottles/Cans “bar code read”, so that completion of recycling through the chain can be authenticated.