Action on drinks containers tabled for England

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 3 October 2017

Commitment to look into a deposit return system given by Minister at party conference.

© Natasha Ewins

We are delighted to report the very real prospect that a deposit return system for drinks containers will be introduced in England, following a statement given by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Environment, at the Conservative Party Conference this week. Defra has now launched a consultation looking at the possibility of imposing a deposit on drinks containers in England, running to the 30th October.

Dr Sue Kinsey, MCS Senior Pollution Policy Officer says: “Drinks containers such as plastic and glass bottle and aluminium cans make up about 10% of litter on UK beaches. Evidence from around the world show that deposit return schemes reduce littering, increase high quality recycling and save local authorities money. We strongly support the introduction of such a scheme in England which will help reduce this type of pollution from our streets, countryside and beaches.”

Scottish Government ran a thorough investigation of options for deposit return systems earlier this year, and last month committed to a full deposit return system for Scotland. Welsh Government is also considering deposit return schemes amongst proposals to tackle litter in the future.

In coastal countries with a working Deposit Return System in place, it has been shown to contribute to a measurable reduction in the numbers of bottles found on the beach.

Mr Gove said “We are looking to go further to reduce plastic waste by working with industry to see how we could introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. Our oceans are our planet’s greatest natural resource and this government is determined to ensure we restore them to health for the next generation.”

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Actions you can take

  1. Take your own reusable bottle out and about
  2. Survey showing public support
  3. Join the Plastic Challenge
  4. Report your #wildbottlesighting using our form
  5. Learn about Deposit Return Systems
  6. See our map of reported bottle sightings

Did you know?…

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces