Deposit scheme for plastic bottles will be unveiled at last… but it WON’T include glass
- Scheme will see a small fee – perhaps 20p – charged on plastic bottles and cans
- Under the scheme these fees would be reclaimed when the empty is returned
- It is likely that supermarkets and stores will install reverse vending machines
A deposit scheme for plastic bottles and cans will finally be announced by ministers today in a breakthrough against litter, pollution and waste.
The scheme will see a small fee – perhaps 20p – charged on plastic bottles and cans, which would be reclaimed when the empty is returned.
It is likely that supermarkets and other stores will install so-called reverse vending machines to allow shoppers to post in their empties in return for vouchers.
Green campaigners have welcomed the move, which was first proposed by David Cameron 13 years ago and then again by Michael Gove in 2017.
A deposit scheme for plastic bottles and cans will finally be announced by ministers today in a breakthrough against litter, pollution and waste
However, the scheme in England will not include glass bottles in a move that threatens to undermine its financial viability. It will also mean it will not match the ones set to go live in Scotland and Wales.
Campaigners say this will add cost and complexity for retailers, such as national supermarket chains, which will have to run different schemes.
There is also a risk that some manufacturers and supermarkets will switch their drinks from plastic bottles and cans to glass to avoid adding the deposit and return fee.
The scheme will see a small fee – perhaps 20p – charged on plastic bottles and cans, which would be reclaimed when the empty is returned
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said: ‘We are set to disincentivise consumer recycling of what would otherwise be perfectly recyclable containers like glass bottles.
‘An all-in deposit return scheme across all four nations of the UK is the only way we will radically reduce our dependence on natural resources.’
Surfers against Sewage, which has campaigned for a deposit scheme to tackle plastic pollution, said: ‘Whilst we should celebrate action being taken against the scourge of plastic pollution, this much delayed announcement of the scheme appears a huge missed opportunity.
‘The government has rolled back on its 2019 manifesto commitment to include glass, one of the most environmentally damaging materials.’
The introduction of the deposit scheme in England is not expected to happen until next year.