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