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Plastic Bottle Deposit Scheme Could Come Into Effect

March 28, 2018, 8:00 AM
  • 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?
A plastic bottle deposit scheme could be introduced to encourage recycling. Image: Getty

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.”

This comes after the Government announced it would not be taking up the ‘latte levy’ as part of an environmental plan to cut down on plastic waste.

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.

Bearover a year ago


ElainesStevensover a year ago

🐬 A great idea,as long as they make it a simple procedure,for all concerned,not a complicated job,to increase everyone's stress levels!!!

BargainKingover a year ago

you will be able to hand your receipt over to the checkout staff for your money back / off your shopping. That's how it works abroad anyway!

mandypurple123over a year ago

yes,i would happily pay a deposit,when I was a child we paid a deposit on pop bottles and it was fun to return them for the deposit back.the only thing I can think of to recycle the plastic bottles is to make bird feeders.

wendysaintover a year ago

yes fab idea x

BargainKingover a year ago


BargainKingover a year ago

You wont be buying the plastic bottle you will be renting it! (For free so long as you return it!)

MexicaliRose675over a year ago

This scheme will be unfair to disabled people who order their plastic bottles online and cannot get out to return them for the refund. I always make sure my bottles go in my recycling bin so why should I be forced to pay more. There are an awful lot of people out there who couldn't care less about the environment and I can't see them changing their ways for this. I'm not sure what the answer is but maybe a concentrated nationwide campaign to put the message across would help.

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