Today, we welcome the announcement from the Environment Secretary Michael Gove of plans to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England.
This means that a deposit will be paid by the consumer when they purchase any single-use glass or plastic bottle, and steel or aluminium can. This deposit will increase the initial price paid but consumers will get the money back if they return the container.
The Environment Secretary said there was no doubt that plastic was “wreaking havoc” on the marine environment and discarded plastic bottles and cans “end up dumped on pavements and lobbed into rivers, lakes and the sea“.
“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,” he said.
“We need to see a change in attitudes and behaviour. And the evidence shows that reward and return schemes are a powerful agent of change.”
The announcement follows campaigning from a range of organisations including Surfers Against Sewage, The Marine Conservation Society and Keep Britain Tidy.
Keep Britain Tidy completed research last year detailing that councils would benefit financially from the introduction of the scheme. The research, published in October, was one of several pieces of evidence used by Government to form the decision made today.
The LOVEmyBEACH campaign tentatively awaits the introduction of the scheme, ready to track the changes in recorded beach and marine litter.