A deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and slash the amount of waste polluting our land and seas will be introduced by the Government, subject to consultation later this year.
UK consumers go through an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, of which more than 3 billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.
The consultation will look at the details of how such a scheme would work, alongside other measures to increase recycling rates. Possible variants of a deposit return scheme include cash rewards for returning drinks containers without an upfront deposit.
“The amount of waste polluting our land and seas remains a great source of frustration for residents all over North East Bedfordshire. Plastic particularly is a cause of great concern for our marine environment and it is crucial that we consider all options to reduce the millions of plastic bottles that are currently being thrown away. I welcome the Government’s proposals for a deposit return scheme and encourage my constituents to contribute to the consultation once it is published”.
The announcement follows a number of measures taken by the Government to crackdown on plastic: the ban on plastic microbeads; the 5p plastic bag charge; and the recent call for evidence by HM Treasury on taxes and charges to reduce waste from single-use plastics.
- Options for a deposit return scheme will be considered alongside other policies to improve recycling rates. The government will only take forward options from the consultation which demonstrate that they offer clear benefits and are resistant to fraud, and costs on businesses, consumers and the taxpayer are proportionate.
- The consultation will take into account views from producers, suppliers and consumers to ensure that any system introduced works across the country.
- Last year, we launched the first Litter Strategy for England. This strategy sets out how we will work with different local groups, local authorities, Highways England and businesses to clean up the country, to change attitudes towards littering, and strengthen enforcement powers.
- The Voluntary and Economics Incentives Working Group report to Ministers will be published on GOV.UK
- HM Treasury’s call for evidence on using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste is currently live on GOV.UK