A deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and significantly reduce the amount of waste polluting our land and seas will be introduced subject to consultation later this year, it was confirmed today (28 March). The consultation will look at the details of how such a scheme would work, alongside other measures to increase recycling rates.
It is estimated that UK consumers dispose of 13billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.
A deposit return scheme sees consumers pay an up-front deposit when they buy a drink, which is redeemed on return of the empty drink container. Possible variants of a deposit return scheme include cash rewards for returning drinks containers without an upfront deposit.
Today’s announcement is the latest move in the Government’s crackdown on plastic, following the plastic microbead ban and the 5p plastic bag charge – which has led to nine billion fewer bags distributed.
Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed the measures and consultation announced by the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP. He commented: “Bexley was named as the number one Borough for recycling in London, with just over half our waste sent to recycling or composting. However, there is still more to be done, especially on plastics, which cause many problems for our marine environment.
“The Government is committed to tackling the problem and this is a welcome step in the right direction.”