Michael Gove unveils plan for bottle and cup deposits in waste clampdown

Posted On: 
18th December 2018

Consumers face having to pay a deposit on bottles, cans and disposable cups under a new crackdown on waste, Michael Gove has revealed.

Michael Gove will launch the government's new waste strategy at a recycling centre in London
PA Images

The move by the Environment Secretary, aimed at boosting recycling rates of single-use drinks containers, would see a returnable charge applied on the items at the point of sale.

It forms part of a wider strategy on tackling waste, which could see the price of single-use plastic bags rise from 5p to 10p and leave councils banned from charging for garden waste collection.

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Elsewhere under the plan, businesses which currently pay 10% towards the cost of disposing their own packaging will be forced to foot the full bill, and could face penalties for using materials that are not deemed eco-friendly.

The strategy will also force councils to roll out separate collections for food waste across the country, while bringing in consistent labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle.

Elsewhere, manufacturers will be encouraged to design longer-lasting products than can be more easily repaired rather than thrown away.

Ministers will also bring in electronic tracking of rubbish shipments in an attempt to clamp down on waste crime.

Launching the strategy, which will go out to consultation, Mr Gove said the proposals could allow Britain to move away from being a "throw-away" society.

“We will cut our reliance on single-use plastics, end confusion over household recycling, tackle the problem of packaging by making polluters pay, and end the economic, environmental and moral scandal that is food waste,” he said.

“Through this plan we will cement our place as a world leader in resource efficiency, leaving our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

But Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman said: “Michael Gove is living up to his reputation as the Secretary of State for Consultations, big on speculative plans and kicking ideas into the long grass.

“You can’t aim to prevent fly tipping without ending cuts to the councils that deal with waste and recycling.

“And we need a plan for stopping the export of UK recycling and waste plastics to countries where they currently end up in landfill or polluting our oceans.”