Government Launches Drinks Bottle Deposit Scheme

Apr 30, 2018 editor

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced a bottle deposit return scheme, expected to be introduced later this year.

As a result of this scheme, customers will be charged more for single-use plastic, glass, or metal drinks containers. This charge would be refunded upon return of the container.

The scheme is an attempt to help reduce the amount of plastic wasted in the UK, with more than three billion containers being incinerated or sent to landfill each year.

Michael Gove, Environment secretary 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 aboslutely 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."

UKHospitality has requested an opt-out for businesses that sell drinks on the premises, in order to protect the industry.

"The Government's proposal for a deposit scheme highlights the need for a united front from the sector to tackle the problem of packaging waste and avoid additional costs for businesses. The hospitality industry recognises the challenge and is already playing an active role in providing solutions and is not underestimating the importance and cost implications." Said Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls.

"There is, however, a genuine worry that this scheme will simply increase costs for businesses, while not providing the action required to tackle packaging waste. Any scheme needs to make a provision and an opt-out for hospitality businesses to ensure they do not incur a disproportionate and massive cost burden that could potentially drive some employers out of business."

There has been a recent drive in the hospitality industry to reduce plastic waste, with many companies banishing plastic straws and reducing their use of single-use plastics.