The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called on the government to ensure that the deposit return scheme (DRS) which will be introduced in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is workable for local shops and does not leave them out of pocket.
The scheme is currently scheduled to be introduced by late 2024, following the initial introduction of it in Scotland next year.
The news follows the decision by the department for environment food and rural affairs on whether businesses should be required to take back containers, and whether different nations should have separate schemes.
The ACS has argued that the new scheme should align “as closely as possible” to avoid the possibility of fraud and confusion from customers.
The association has also suggested that the scheme should have a “strategically mapped” set of return points, as opposed to forcing every location that sells drinks to also take back containers.
Furthermore, for hygiene and safety reasons,the association has also emphasised that no retailer should be forced to take back containers manually and that the scheme should be cost neutral through fair setting of the handling fee.
James Lowman, chief executive, ACS, said: “Local shops have an important role to play in the introduction of a deposit return scheme, which can be successful in driving recycling rates if it is introduced without adversely impacting retailers.
“For a scheme to be sustainable and supported by retailers, the handling fee must be fair and tailored to the size and operational requirements of the store, resulting in the scheme being cost neutral for retailers that take part.”