Gloucester MP Richard Graham has encouraged the government to introduce a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and slash plastic waste pollution.
Richard said, “local and national support to cut waste in general and plastic waste in particular, and increase recycling is growing fast. The government has introduced a consultation on a deposit return scheme and I support that - but there must be no doubt about the direction: we need such a scheme to prevent 3 billion plastic bottles a year being burnt or going into landfill.”
The MP noted similar schemes already operate in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, with a refundable deposit when the container is returned. An alternative is a cash reward for returning drinks containers without an upfront deposit through ‘reverse vending machines’, where plastic or glass bottles are inserted and the machine returns money. Businesses are then responsible for the recycling – which has led to a 97% recycling rate in Germany.
Richard said, “under Michael Gove the government has banned plastic microbeads and this follows the successful plastic bag charge. This is the next step, alongside a move which I’m championing in Gloucester to encourage all food and beverage outlets to allow visitors to refill their water bottles for free. The city council is showing leadership on their use of plastics, and I hope that these government initiatives will lead to less plastic waste, more recycling and less landfill - and a cleaner city and country. We cannot just leave this to the next generation.”
- 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, the government 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.
- 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