Food and Beverage Business
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Demand for Interoperability Among Water Bottle Brands with DRS

Demand for Interoperability Among Water Bottle Brands with DRS brands, demand, DRS, interoperability, Water bottle Food and Beverage Business

Highland Spring’s managing director, Simon Oldham, voices support for a well-planned and harmonised Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) that can increase recycling and provide high-quality recycled materials while reducing litter. However, in the current climate that lacks clarity, he questions where we stand today. Oldham stresses that smaller producers/brands in Scotland should not be exempt from the scheme as this would result in a significantly anti-competitive environment and create a lot of confusion. He explains that it is crucial for both schemes to become harmonised to create a seamless solution for producers, retailers, and consumers.

Highland Spring continuously practices light-weighting, and its PET bottles are now 20% lighter than they were four years ago. Oldham calls for an end to Producer Responsibility Note (PRN) since it is largely unregulated and creates market uncertainty. Gemma Morgan, Danone UK & Ireland category director, supports the DRS and looks forward to interoperability for various schemes to simplify the process for all the stakeholders. Evian, a Danone-owned brand, announced in 2018 that it would be a 100% circular brand by 2025. Morgan asserts that they have made significant progress on their journey towards 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Montgomery Waters, a company that owns brands such as Stretton Hills, Celtic Springs, and Aquaroma, is a retailer brand whose output goes into other company’s brands. Andy McAdam, the commercial director, firmly supports the DRS concept but believes it is crucial to create a united DRS for all instead of building a fragmented solution that makes it hard to implement.

In conclusion, the DRS is a critical and welcome initiative that can increase recycling rates, reduce litter, and provide high-quality recycled materials for the industry. However, it needs to be implemented in a harmonised and unified way to create an anti-competitive environment, reduce complexity, cost and confusion, and benefit all the stakeholders.

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