British Government Launches Plastic Bottle Deposit Scheme

Shoppers will pay a refundable deposit when purchasing single-use containers.

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plastic bottle deposit scheme UK

The Government is set to implement a scheme in which shoppers will pay a deposit when purchasing plastic bottles or cans in an attempt to reduce plastic waste.

In the proposed scheme, shoppers will pay a deposit for purchasing single-use items but will receive the deposit back if they return and recycle the containers.

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The scheme will cover single-use glass and plastic bottles, and steel and aluminium cans.

The cost of the deposit is yet to be decided but is expected to be large enough to make consumers consider the environmental implications before making the purchase.

The idea, drawn up by Michael Gove in his role as Environment Secretary, is the latest in a succession of moves to reduce the UK’s impact on the environment.

Since his appointment to the position, Gove has made a number of positive proposals and changes, announcing animals will be recognised as sentient after Brexit and proposing a ban on pet shop puppy sales. 

Speaking about the scheme, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “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.”

“We need to see a change in attitudes and behaviour. And the evidence shows that reward and return schemes are a powerful agent of change.”

The Conservative MP has also helped create a 25-year environment plan, which was launched by Theresa May in January 2018.

Samantha Harding, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “This is a brilliant and significant decision by Michael Gove.

“I am thrilled that we will finally see the many benefits a deposit system will bring to England, not least the absence of ugly drinks containers in our beautiful countryside.

“What’s significant is that producers will now pay the full costs of their packaging, reducing the burden on the taxpayer and setting a strong precedent for other schemes where the polluter pays.”

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