William Watkins

Wales dropping glass would ‘help unlock the way to an interoperable DRS’ Watkins said

Radnor Hills founder and CEO William Watkins has been elected president of the British Soft Drinks Association.

The former vice president of the BSDA kicked off his tenure by calling for the Welsh government to drop its plans to include glass in its deposit return scheme.

“The go-live date for DRS across the UK has been pushed back to October 2027,” he said. “As it stands, the Welsh government continues to be an outlier in calling for the inclusion of glass within scope of its DRS.” 

Wales’ plans to include glass in its DRS would “create different market conditions within Great Britain”, Watkins said, adding this could have “the potential to confuse consumers and impede efforts to achieve the high collection rates of PET and aluminium beverage containers”.

“I am calling on the Welsh government to reconsider its approach to help unlock the way to an interoperable DRS that benefits the environment, consumers and industry alike,” Watkins added.

Watkins takes over the role of BSDA president from Paul Graham, managing director of Britvic GB.

Pete Charles, MD at Red Bull, has been elected to replace Watkins as vice president.

Radnor Hills is Wales’ largest independent soft drinks producer, and was founded by Watkins in 1990. It produces over 400 million drinks a year under its Radnor Fizz, Radnor Hills Spring Water and Radnor Splash brands.

Earlier this month, the company appointed Simon Knight to be its new MD.