Environment Minister Michael Gove has just launched a public consultation about introducing a bottle deposit scheme in England. The news follows the delivery of a bottle deposit petition, an initiative of Surfers Against Sewage, to 10 Downing Street. The petition attracted 250,000 signatures, calling on the minister to help protect our oceans and beaches from plastic pollution.
The government consultation, which will run until 30 October, will focus on ways to increase the recycling rates of drinks containers and prevent the littering of plastic bottles.
Surfers Against Sewage has also launched a new report, Impacts of a Deposit Refund System for One-Way Beverage Packaging on Local Authority Waste Services, showing that the introduction of a deposit return system on plastic and glass bottles would not only reduce ocean plastic pollution but also save local authorities millions of pounds annually.
It’s estimated that 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day across the UK. Evidence from other countries, including the US, Norway and Germany, shows that the introduction of a simple deposit on plastic bottles and cans can raise collection rates above 90% and reduce littering.
The Surfers Against Sewage report shows that introducing a bottle deposit scheme for England would benefit local economies and communities, saving councils money that could be redirected to other vital frontline services.
Please share the petition with your friends, family and colleagues and help persuade the government to bring back a bottle deposit scheme.