MPs call for deposit return scheme

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
MPs recommended 10 - 20p should be placed on top of the price of the product

The UK should introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles, according to a report published by the Environmental Audit Committee.

Following a packaging inquiry, ‘Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’ urged the government to introduce a “well-designed” DRS which would be advised by industry stakeholders and local authorities.

It predicted a DRS could boost recycling rates to up to 90% after 10-20p is placed on top of the price of the product.

The report also suggested fees raised should be reinvested in plastic reprocessing facilities which would take some of the pressure off the recent Chinese ban on mixed plastic waste.

Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Urgent action is needed to protect our environment from the devastating effects of marine plastic pollution. Our throwaway society uses 13 billion plastic bottles each year, around half of which are not recycled.”

As well as a DRS, the report also called for all premises which serve food and drink to provide free drinking water and manufacturers to be made financially responsible for the plastic packaging they produce.

According to the report, packaging producers only pay 10% of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling.

Creagh added: “By reforming producer responsibility charges, the government can ensure that producers and retailers will have financial incentives to design packaging that is easily recyclable or face higher compliance costs.”

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