Procurement · 28 March 2018

Drinks bottles deposit scheme proposed for consumers in England

There are over 150m tonnes of plastic put into the world’s oceans every year
People in England could soon to pay a deposit on drinks bottles and cans, as the government announces plans to increase recycling rates and cut waste.

The deposit scheme would see drinks prices will increase as consumers will pay an up-front cost, however people can claim money back by returning containers.

Business owners will be responsible for recycling returned bottles.

UK consumers go through an estimated 13bn plastic drinks bottles annually, but more than three billion are not recycled.

Commenting on the announcement, environment secretary Michael Gove said: It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.

Currently the unrecycled waste is either incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute streets, countryside and marine environment.

we can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats, said Gove.

Read more: latte levy? could unfairly hit independent coffee shops

The government confirmed that the scheme will be introduced later this year for single use drinks containers whether plastic, glass or metal.

Today’s announcement sits alongside the?25 Year Environment Plan and follows the plastic microbeads ban and the 5p plastic bag charge.

Gove added: We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans.

The bottles scheme will follow a consultation, to be held later this year. The consultation will consider producers, suppliers and consumers views to enable a system that works nationally.

But plastic producers may be worried as the industry could be liable to fund the return deposit scheme.

Currently plastics producers pay just ten per cent of the cost of recycling packaging.

Coinciding with wider reforms to reduce packaging waste the scheme urges companies to take greater responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products.



Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

High Streets Initiative