Consultation on a Deposit Return Scheme

UK consumers use an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year. Three billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.

Today the Government has announced that a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste pollution will be introduced subject to consultation later this year.

Options for a deposit return scheme will be considered alongside other policies to improve recycling rates. The Government will only take forward options from the consultation which demonstrate that they offer clear benefits and are resistant to fraud, and that costs on businesses, consumers and the taxpayer are proportionate.

The consultation will take into account views from producers, suppliers and consumers to ensure that any system introduced works across the country.

I would be interested to hear from constituents. Is this a good idea? Which scheme would work best?

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3 Comments

  1. RDM
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it could be a good means to change behaviour, if it is done properly!

    We could all use the same, highly recyclable plastic bottle, if only to monetise their reuse?!

    So, there are alternatives.

    I remember the corona bottles, it was my pocket money!

    No problem!

    It gave me a sense of value, very early on in life, not that I need it, but it would help the young who are now, not exposed to the realities of life.

  2. Dan H.
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    This is a scheme which will have to be set up rather carefully. Plastic PET bottles are very, very cheap to manufacture, and people are generally pretty quick to pick up on perverse incentives.

    For instance, one such scheme paid more for bottles to recycle than they cost new, and the exceedingly silly situation arose where truck-loads of brand new bottles were being taken to recycling points to collect the recycling deposits; recycling brand new bottles turned a profit.

    On the other hand, please ignore me completely whilst I sort out a container-ship load of instant recycling…

  3. Epikouros
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Years ago a deposit was required on some bottles (as a young lad I and others used to hunt for unreturned bottles to claim the deposit back) and in Canada(in Montreal at least) they still charge a deposit on cans and bottles which encouraged the return of them(they are returned to machines that counts them, prints a slip which you present to the cashier for the refund). My observation would say that it works although I have no evidence in which to back up that fact. So if it can be proved that it does as some data must be available why not put a refundable deposit on all containers.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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