Plastic Bottle Deposit Scheme Could Come Into Effect
- People in England could soon have to pay a deposit when buying a plastic bottle or can
- Bid to cut down on plastic waste
- Could cost up to 22p extra per bottle
- What do you think?
Consumers could face paying a deposit on drinks bottles and cans, which will be repaid when they hand them in for recycling.
The Government has announced plans to tackle plastic waste by introducing a deposit return scheme for single use drinks containers.
This would include plastic and glass bottles, and aluminium cans in England, subject to consultation.
Mr Gove said, “We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment- killing dolphins, choking turtles, and degrading our most precious habitats.
“It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.
“We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans.”
The new move aims to boost recycling rates and cut litter, and comes amid increasing concern over the issue of single use plastic, much of which ends up polluting the countryside and oceans.
UK consumers use an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill, or end up as litter.
Some countries already have deposit return schemes similar to this, ranging from 8p in Sweden to 22p in Germany, and this is redeemed when the empty bottle or can is returned.
There will be a consultation to look at how a scheme like this would work in England, as well as considering other measures to increase recycling rates.
The Government said it would only take forward options from the consultation which demonstrate they offer clear benefits, are resistant to fraud, and where the costs to businesses, consumers, and the taxpayer are ‘proportionate’.
A poll by the waste and recycling company Suez, found that three quarters of people would be likely to return their plastic drinks bottles or cans if they had to pay a deposit that they would reclaim for returning it.
Environmental groups have been positive about the Government’s decision.
Samantha Harding, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said, “I am thrilled that we will finally see the many benefits a deposit scheme will bring to England, not least the absence of ugly drinks containers in our beautiful countryside.”
Elena Polisano, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said, “If the system is UK-wide, applicable to drinks containers of all sizes and available everywhere they are sold, it will make a huge difference to the plastic problem.
“The Government must also be careful to avoid a voluntary scheme that only applies to some retailers.
“Both the public and businesses are in favour of a strong deposit return scheme, which is a tried and tested way to increase recycling rates.”
The Government has had huge success with the levy on plastic bags, which has led to a massive reduction in their use, so the plastic bottle scheme is hoping to emulate this.
Would you be happy to pay a deposit on plastic bottles? Let us know in the comments.