Waste News

Government considers plastic bottle tax

Blue plastic bottle reflected on a beach

The Government is currently considering bringing a charge for the purchase of plastic bottles in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic entering landfill sites and the environment.

Those who purchase liquids in plastic containers would have to pay an extra fee for each bottle bought – which would then be refundable upon return.

It is thought that the cost would be up to around 20p.

The scheme has already been trialled in other countries around the world, including Scotland, Canada, the US, and other countries throughout Europe.

Environmental ministers are now working through the data from the Scottish trials to investigate how a trial might perform in England.

When asked how ministers plan on cutting plastic waste on beaches, Therese Coffey said that:

The consultation is out there on micro-beads but there is in that a call for wider evidence about the need to tackle other plastics.

“We are developing a new litter strategy which may well address this issue.

“The Secretary of State is personally interested in this matter and intends to set up an innovation fund that may explore new ideas to tackle it.”

The Scottish government has ruled out a flat tax on plastic bottles but has confirmed that ministers are reading into the scheme as part of a consultation.

According to Recycle Now, a recycling scheme funded by the Government, UK households on average use 480 plastic bottles a year, but only recycle around 270.

Despite considerable approval of the plastic bag tax throughout the UK, Conservative MP Will Quince voiced concerned over the taxation of plastic bottles, saying:

We all want to increase recycling but we have to be careful about punishing those who are already doing the right thing.

“The vast majority do already recycle and try their best, but a scheme of this nature is not a reward scheme, its actually a punishment scheme because you pay out at the beginning and you only get your money back at the end if you take your bottle back.

“Whether or not people would do that I don’t know, many people would still stick it in the recycling box at home and if that’s the case its just another tax.”

The idea has been welcomed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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