MPs call for plastic bottle deposit scheme to help save oceans
Brits should pay a deposit for using plastic bottles in a bid to protect the oceans, MPs have declared.
The Environmental Audit Committee said all cafes and restaurants should give out tap water, public water fountains should be free and firms should pay more for their plastic waste.
Chair of the committee and Labour MP Mary Creagh said it was time to “turn back the plastic tide”.
“Urgent action is needed to protect our environment from the devastating effects of marine plastic pollution which, if it continues to rise at current rates, will outweigh fish by 2050,” she warned.
The committee is consulting on a bottle deposit scheme and new charges for single-use plastics.
It said plastic bottles should contain 50% recycled material and it proposed a sliding scale of taxes on plastic packaging.
The Government said it was taking the issue of plastic waste very seriously and was consulting with firms over deposit schemes and single use plastic charges.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has vowed to do more to reduce waste pollution in oceans after being inspired by BBC documentary series Blue Planet.
The Environment Secretary announced plans this month to impose nationwide standards on recycling to end the postcode lottery.
The move comes as part of a wider four-point plan to cut plastic waste, which includes a general reduction in the number of plastics that are in use, including straws and coffee cups, to make it easier for recycling firms.