New President of British Soft Drinks Association announced

Posted: 20 June 2024 | | No comments yet

William Watkins, CEO of Radnor Hills, has been elected as the next President of the British Soft Drinks Association.

William Watkins

Image credit: Radnor Hills

William Watkins, CEO of Radnor Hills, Wales’ largest soft drinks manufacturer, has been elected as President of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA).

As part of his new role, Watkins has already called on the Welsh Government to help unlock the way for an interoperable Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) to support recycling.

The appointment took place on 11 June at the trade body’s AGM. He has taken over from Paul Graham, GB Managing Director at Britvic, who, until recently, led the BSDA in its role as a founder-member of Circularity Scotland Ltd, a scheme administrator for Scotland’s since-delayed deposit return scheme.

Replacing Watkins as Vice Presidents at the BSDA will be Pete Charles, who has been Managing Director at Red Bull since 2018.

However, Watkins is not a new face at BSDA, in fact he has been Vice President at the Association since 2020.

 “I am delighted to be elected as the new President of this important organisation. It is such a crucial time for the industry as we head towards setting up a Deposit Return Scheme, along with retailers and alcohol producers, to deliver a realistic and practical system to return and recycle our containers in a more sustainable way,” commented Watkins.

“I aim to continue the fine work of Paul and past BSDA presidents by making further progress on a wide range of issues affecting and involving soft drinks, particularly those related to reducing litter and increasing recycling.

A TRIP down CBD lane

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

Watkins went on to share that he believes “a lack of alignment in this area would create different market conditions within Great Britain, something which carries the potential to confuse consumers and impede efforts to achieve the high collections rates of PET and aluminium beverage containers necessary to fuel the circular economy for beverage packaging”.

Now, Watkins has highlighted that he is 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”.

Other interests of Watkins include promoting the soft drinks industry “highlighting both the economic benefits it delivers for our country and the vast array of drinks, mainly in the low-calorie sector”.

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