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Fight against plastics put retailers on the front line

Fight against plastics put retailers on the front line

UK Head of Retail, Paul Martin comments on the proposed plastics deposit scheme currently under consultation.


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Commenting on the proposed plastics deposit scheme currently under consultation, Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said:

It’s clear that the days of single-use plastic are numbered, and rightly so. Their impact on our environment clearly outweighs any added convenience their use might provide. We all have a role to play in turning the tide on our use of plastics, but it would appear that retailers are being placed firmly on the front line of this battle. 

Deposit schemes are nothing new to retailers overseas, in fact Germany has had one in place for over 20 years. It’s therefore unsurprising to hear that the UK are having to learn best practice from these countries. That said, British retailers face their own challenges currently, with the recent bout of CVA and drive towards online sales highlighting that physical space is becoming increasingly costly. 

You could argue that these proposals might encourage shoppers back to the store, but this consultation can’t afford to overlook the amount of physical space, workforce and investment such a scheme would require at the retailer’s expense. Added to this, it is consumers that have shaped the retail landscape today with rising customer expectations, so a degree of education on their part and sufficient incentives will be needed to ensure their engagement.  

The battle against plastics comes against a backdrop of a myriad of other environmental and social initiatives that are often falling on the shoulders of retailers. Whilst it may demonstrate the vital role they play in our local community and within wider society, action will need to extend the full breath of the supply chain – from packaging manufacturers to the end customer – if a more environmentally-friendly future is to become a reality.”



Notes to editors:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Wilson, KPMG Corporate Communications

T: 020 7 311 6651

M:  077853 73397


KPMG Press Office: +44 (0)207 694 8773

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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