- A consultation launched today on a new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme shows the Government is considering the option of limiting the scheme to small bottles despite evidence that this would exclude millions of plastic bottles.
- Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) volunteers collected 27,696 single-use drinks containers from 500 beaches and rivers in clean-ups in October. Of the bottles, 58 per cent were 750ml or larger and would be excluded if the drinks industry succeeds in convincing the government to limit the new deposit scheme.
- Despite the evidence found on UK beaches the British Retail Consortium has called for limits on the size of plastic bottles included in the scheme.
- Surfers Against Sewage’s petition ‘Bring Back Bottle Deposits to Stop Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans’, supported by 329,000 citizens and delivered to 10 Downing Street, called for a comprehensive and inclusive system to be introduced on plastic beverage bottles and cans.
- The charity is urging the government to reduce the amount of pointless plastic being manufactured, sold and used, as the first step to slowing the plastic pollution crisis; and to bring forward its ambitions and deliver an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme sooner than the 2023 set out in the Resources & Waste Strategy.
A consultation launched today on a new drink bottle Deposit Return Scheme shows the Government is considering limiting the scheme to smaller plastic bottles despite evidence that this would exclude millions of larger ones found on UK beaches.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage CEO said “Despite the stark evidence on our beaches industry is pushing for a watered-down scheme risking billions of bottles ending up in our oceans. In the face of this the UK Government must do the right thing for our seas and marine life and put in place a simple ‘all-in’ system without further delay. “
This inclusion of the ‘on-the-go’ model in the consultation reflects recent statements by the drinks industry aiming to limit the scope of any system introduced. However, evidence collected by volunteers cleaning up our beaches and rivers clearly shows that an ‘on-the-go’ model, limiting the sizes of beverage bottles included, would fail to protect our environment from plastic pollution and therefore also fall short of the expected recycling rates.
In October 2018 Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) organised the largest ever survey of single-use drinks bottles found on 487 UK beaches and rivers and volunteers measured 27,696 single use drinks containers. The plastic bottle sizes found were:
- Small bottles (under 750 ml): 42%
- 750 ml to Extra Large (e.g. 2 Litre party bottle): 58 %
An ‘all-in’ model captures up to 98% of plastic bottles in some countries. These systems collect more bottles and containers, and create the strongest circular economy. This is how to stop billions of plastic bottles from polluting our ocean.
“The most effective deposit return systems globally are the most inclusive – covering all sizes of beverage containers. This will be the most understandable for the public, ensuring that recycling becomes simpler and more effective” said Hugo Tagholm.
Surfers Against Sewage has called on its supporters to take action and send a message to Michael Gove on Twitter. In the face of this pressure the Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove MP must do the right thing for our seas and marine life and put in place a simple ‘all-in’ drinks bottle recycling scheme without further delay. We know Michael Gove uses Twitter so we are asking the SAS community to share our message with him. If you are on twitter you can RT our tweet here.
For interviews with Surfers Against Sewage spokespeople call 01872 555 954 or email [email protected]