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country-icon United Kingdom

03.15.23

Deposit Return Scheme

The UK Plastic Packaging Tax, introduced in April 2022, showcased the UK’s initiative to deploy fiscal policies to serve the wider environmental agenda.

More specifically to the north of the country, Scotland is now planning to introduce a Deposit on Returned single-use containers Scheme (DRS).

The scheme will apply to single-use drinks containers. On purchase, a small deposit will be paid (20p), which will then be returned once the empty bottle or can is returned, thus incentivising the need to recycle.

While seemingly simplistic, there are more complicated fiscal elements which need to be considered as part of the scheme, specifically, the VAT element associated with the scheme. Questions raised include the need to consider whether the extra charge will also need to consider VAT- or whether VAT will only become relevant if the original container was subject to VAT.

We are expecting further clarification from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the Spring Budget but as per current timeframes, the scheme is set for an implementation date of August 2023.

Tungsten will monitor requirements in respect of the scheme and consider our obligations in respect of it.

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