UK to announce plastic bottle deposit return scheme in days

plastic bottles
CC BY 2.0 Twentyfour students

Yet another sign that British attitudes toward single-use plastic are changing dramatically.

Sadly, we're not yet talking about an outright ban on single-use plastics, but several newspapers including The Daily Mail are now reporting that British ministers are set to announce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles within days.

As Katherine reported before, the debate about a possible deposit return scheme has been rumbling on for some time. What's notable now, however, is that many major businesses—including Coca Cola, and grocery store chains Tesco, Iceland and the Co-op—have come around to supporting such an initiative, which would see "reverse vending machines" installed in grocery stores and other public places, providing refunds for returned empty bottles. According to a leaked report seen by The Mail, the government is projecting an increase in plastic bottle collection rates from 60% to 85%, as well as a 70% reduction in plastic bottles littering the environment.

We're still a long way from solving the problem of plastic pollution, but this does seem like a significant step in the right direction. Hopefully it will also be combined with a serious effort to promote reuse and refill schemes that can eliminate plastic bottles at the source.

UK to announce plastic bottle deposit return scheme in days
Yet another sign that British attitudes toward single-use plastic are changing dramatically.

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