DEFRA Deposit Return Scheme Research Privacy Notice

Research Summary

In 2018 the UK government committed to the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers, aimed at boosting recycling rates and reducing littering, subject to consultation. A DRS is a system whereby a consumer pays an up-front deposit on an item at the point of purchase (e.g. a plastic drinks bottle), which is redeemed on return of the deposit item to a designated return point.

Recognising that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy and society in unimaginable ways, with many people reassessing their values, decisions and priorities in both the immediate and longer term, Defra launched a second consultation on the DRS proposals in March 2021, to explore appetite is for a DRS in a ‘post-Covid’ context.

The second consultation will be supplemented by further consumer research and will focus on those who may be disproportionately impacted by a DRS, to understand how they expect to engage with such a scheme in a post-Covid context.

Findings from the consultation and supplementary research will be used by Ministers to make a decision on the most appropriate type of DRS to be implemented.

This notice

  • SYSTRA, alongside partners Teamsearch, have been commissioned by Defra to undertake further research on the DRS.
  • SYSTRA, Teamsearch and Defra are committed to making sure that we tell you about the ways in which we use your personal information and that we have the right controls in place to make sure it is used responsibly and kept safe from inappropriate access, theft, or misuse.
  • We are providing you with this notice so you know what data we are collecting from you as part of this research study; what we are going to do with it; and your rights over our use of your personal data.

Your personal data

  • Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the “GDPR”), and associated legislation including but not limited to the Data Protection Act 2018.

Who are we?

  • Defra and SYSTRA are joint Data Controller. This means both Defra and SYSTRA have decided how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
  • SYSTRA is a Data Processor. This means that they are responsible for collecting and processing your personal data. SYSTRA are Cyber Essentials and ISO20252 accredited (certificate number: 9208368).
  • Teamsearch are sub-Data Processor and will only collect and process your personal data on instruction from SYSTRA. Teamsearch are Cyber Essentials and ISO20252 accredited.

What information is being collected?

The research has three different approaches:
1. An online quantitative survey with members of the public;
2. Online focus groups using Microsoft Teams; and
3. In-depth telephone interviews with members of the public and organisations and charities.

If you are taking part in the online survey, this will ask you questions on your current recycling and waste management habits, your views toward a DRS and demographic information including your age, gender, working status, household composition, disability and whether you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. No personal data will be collected within the survey itself, but you will have been invited to take part in the survey through CINT or Dynata panels. The contact details held by CINT and Dynata are not passed on to Teamsearch, SYSTRA or Defra when you complete the survey.

The online focus groups and in-depth telephone interviews will ask you questions on your current recycling and waste management habits and your views toward a DRS. No personal data will be collected within the discussions, but your contact details will be used to invite you to take part in the discussions. There are two ways that your contact details have been obtained for this research:

  • If you are a member of the public being invited to a focus group or interview, your name, email address and telephone number is held by Teamsearch.
    • These details were provided by the contact database ‘Data Source’. More information on how Data Source collect and use your data can be found here:
    • At the point of recruitment, Teamsearch will ask you a series of demographic questions on age, gender, working status, household composition, household income, type of housing and disability.
  • If you are an organisation or charity, your contact details were available from a public website. SYSTRA contacted you to arrange an interview using these details and the details for the named interviewee were provided directly.

Any contact details obtained for this research will not be provided to Defra, nor linked to your survey responses or focus group and telephone discussions.

How is it collected?

  • The survey is completed online via Askia. Askia is a secure software survey platform used for data collection. All data is retained on Teamsearch servers in the UK and is not held by Askia. Askia’s data protection policy for on-premise survey software can be found in section 3 of this document
    Askia Software Agreement
  • The online focus groups will take place on Microsoft Teams and in-depth interviews will be completed on Microsoft Teams or via telephone. Online focus groups and in-depth telephone interviews will be recorded where consent is provided. Recruitment for in-depth interviews and focus groups will take place by phone and email.

Why is it being collected?

Our lawful basis for processing under GDPR is:

  • GDPR Article 6(1)(e): the processing is necessary for the performance of its official tasks carried out in the public interest.

We also rely on your Consent to hold your personal data if you opt-in to in-depth interviews and focus groups, which you can withdraw at any time.

How will it be used?

  • Defra, SYSTRA and Teamsearch comply with their obligations under the GDPR by: keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.
  • All personal data held as part of this project is encrypted with a secure password and access restricted to only those working on the project.
  • Your data will be analysed anonymously with all other participant data. SYSTRA will report the findings of the research to Defra. No individual will be made identifiable during reporting.

Who will it be shared with?

  • Data collected and stored by SYSTRA and Teamsearch will be stored in the United Kingdom.
  • If you are an individual and you consent to take part in an interview or online focus group, the contact details and demographic information you provide to Teamsearch will be passed on to SYSTRA to set up the discussions.
  • Any contact details obtained for this research will not be provided to Defra, nor linked to your survey responses or focus group and telephone discussions.
  • SYSTRA will share anonymised data with Defra at the end of the research, and no other third party. This will not contain and personal or contact information.
  • Reports will not contain any personal data.

How long do we keep your personal data?

  • We keep your personal data for no longer than reasonably necessary; your data will be kept until 31st June 2022. After this, all personal data will be destroyed.

Your rights and your personal data

You have the following rights with respect to your personal data:

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which SYSTRA holds about you;
  • The right to request that SYSTRA corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for SYSTRA to retain such data;
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time;
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data; and
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

Contact Details

If you would like:

  • Any more information about the research study, or our use of your data;
  • To request to see the personal data held on you;
  • To request to withdraw your personal data; or
  • Or exercise any other of the rights listed above

Please contact the SYSTRA research manager, Emma Salter,
Should you wish to find out more about SYSTRA’s data protection processes or contact their Data
Protection Officer, please contact SYSTRA’s UK Compliance Team at

To find out more about Defra’s compliance with data protection please click on the following links to review their data protection notices:

To find out more about Teamsearch’s compliance with data protection please click on the following links to review their data protection notices:

If you have any concerns or questions about data protection or your rights you can also contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

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