MCS response to Resources and Waste Strategy

Date posted: 18 December 2018

Dr Chris Tuckett, Director of Programmes at the Marine Conservation Society, comments on the Resources and Waste Strategy announced today by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

‘MCS has been monitoring litter on our beaches for 25 years now, and our volunteers picked up an average of 600 pieces of litter for every 100-metre stretch of beach we surveyed recently. We have long known about the problem of plastic waste and are now beginning to realise its’ devastating impact on our seas. The new Waste and Resources for England should kick-start stagnating recycling rates and put greater responsibility on the industries that produce packaging, but we will have to wait at least another four years to see any changes.

We know from the 40 other countries that have implemented them so far that Deposit Return Schemes increase recycling rates for drinks bottles, but the UK Government plans to introduce a scheme in England in 2023 at the earliest. We are already lagging behind in our action on single use plastic, and these plans will put England even further adrift. We know what needs to be done and we can, and should, make progress more quickly.’

-ends-

Actions you can take

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

Did you know?…

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

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