Shoppers face bottle ‘deposit’ of up to 22p in Government plan to slash waste
Consumers could be forced to pay an additional 22p deposit for every bottle they buy at the till as part of a Government crackdown on waste.
Ministers are to unveil plans to trial the scheme, currently in place across Europe, in which shoppers who return their used bottles are handed the fee back.
The deposit charged ranges from 8p in Sweden to 22p in Germany.
As well as plastic bottles, the scheme will cover aluminium cans and glass bottles and will likely involve a network of ‘reverse vending machines’, as used on the continent.
Once a bottle is returned, businesses are then responsible for making sure they are recycled – a move that has led to a 97% recycling rate in Germany.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) say the British public go through 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, with more than three billion binned or left to pollute the environment.
Meanwhile empty food and drink containers make up at least a fifth of rubbish on beaches.
The trial, which is due to begin later this year, comes as part of the Government’s wider 25 Year Environment Plan commitment to end avoidable plastic waste.
Ahead of the plan’s launch today, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “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.
“It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.
“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.”