Government investigates bottle deposit return scheme / Move could help boost recycling rates for plastic containers
The UK government has launched a consultation on whether to introduce a deposit return scheme on plastic, metal and glass drinks containers in England, similar to that being planned for Scotland. Proposals for the Scottish scheme were announced last month – see of 18.09.2017.

UK environment minister Michael Gove said more than 8m t of plastic were discarded into the world’s oceans annually, threatening marine wildlife. He said dealing more effectively with containers once they had been used was essential, especially with plastic bottles, since only 57% of those sold in the UK in 2016 were collected for recycling. A recent survey done by Recoup (Peterborough / UK; found the amount of plastic bottles collected from UK household waste in 2016 was about 340,000 t – see of 19.10.2017.

In comparison, 90% of cans and bottles that were part of a deposit-and-return scheme were returned to dedicated recycling facilities in Denmark, and the state of South Australia, which also runs a form of deposit return scheme, had a return rate of nearly 80% of drinks containers.

Gove said the UK must protect oceans and marine life from plastic waste, by "tackling the rise in plastic bottles entering our waters by making it simpler and easier to recycle and dispose of them appropriately." The government is now launching a call to examine how reward and return schemes for plastic bottles and other containers could work in England.

Taxes on plastic carrier bags in the UK have seen their use fall drastically, with 9 bn fewer such bags handed out in shops since their introduction. The government’s consultation ends at the beginning of November.
23.10.2017 [238133-0]
Published on 23.10.2017

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