A deposit return scheme for single use plastic bottles

Update 3 October 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has welcomed yesterday’s announcement from Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove that the Government will be consulting on bringing in a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, Michael Gove said:

“We must protect our oceans and marine life from plastic waste if we are to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.”

“That means tackling the rise in plastic bottles entering our waters by making it simpler and easier to recycle and dispose of them appropriately.”

“Today we are launching a call for evidence to help us understand how reward and return schemes for plastic bottles and other drinks containers could work in England.”

“This approach has already seen great success in other countries such as Denmark in curbing plastic pollution and we want to hear people’s ideas on how we could make it work in England.”

Speaking after the announcement, Steve said:

“It was great to see this announcement from the Secretary of State. This is brilliant news and another step towards the goal that myself as Chairman and others as part of the Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group have been campaigning on.”

“We have seen our campaign gather momentum, have lobbied Ministers at all levels of the Government, and handed in a petition with hundreds of thousands of signatures on it into Number Ten Downing Street, so I am pleased the Government continues to listen and take active steps towards bringing a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles in.

“I will keenly be watching the upcoming consultation and its results and will continue to do all I can to make these plans a reality.”

 

Update 13 September 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has today joined with Surfers Against Sewage and other campaigners in presenting the Message in a Bottle petition to Number Ten Downing Street.

In his capacity of Chair of the Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, Steve has been campaigning to get the Government to bring in a deposit return scheme for single use plastic bottles.

The harmful impacts from plastic pollution can continue to damage the oceans for hundreds of years. A third of fish currently caught in the UK have plastics in their guts and the average UK seafood eater consumes 11,000 plastic particles annually.  Strong and effective action to protect our oceans from plastic pollution is urgently needed and the introduction of a deposit return system would prevent an estimated 4 million plastic bottles from entering the oceans every week in the UK. 

The Surfers Against Sewage ‘Message in a Bottle’ petition, quickly captured the attention of the public with 150,000 signatures collected in the first month.  Now, with nearly 250,000 signatures it is the largest deposit return system petition to be submitted to the Government. 

Commenting, Steve said:

 “As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Protect Our Waves I am delighted to join Surfers Against Sewage to hand in the Message in a Bottle Petition to Downing Street today.”

“It is great to see such vast public support for the campaign to introduce a plastic bottle deposit return scheme, which I hope will fuel the growing support from within the Government.”

“With government, the drinks industry and environmental campaign groups all agreeing that a return scheme is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of plastic polluting our seas I see no reason why this will not now happen.”

Commenting, Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, said:

 “We’re delighted to see the overwhelming public support for the introduction of a deposit return system to tackle ocean plastic pollution. Society’s plastic addiction has reached crisis point and we need to fast-track proven and effective systems including deposit returns to protect our oceans and beaches from the scourge of plastic pollution.”

“Surfers Against Sewage is today proud to deliver the voice of quarter of a million supporters to urge the government to follow Scotland’s lead and commit to introducing a comprehensive plastic bottle deposit return system.”

 

 

Update 12 September 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has continued the campaign for the Government to introduce a deposit return scheme for single use plastic bottles by lobbying the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, while on a visit to Cornwall.

In July, Mr Gove said he wanted the Government to introduce a plastic bottle deposit scheme "as soon as possible", and that "change needs to come" as plastic pollution is "killing whales, choking dolphins and degrading our oceans and seas".

Describing a plastic bottle deposit scheme as a "great idea", he said it was vital to devise a programme "that others can buy into".

Commenting, Steve said:

“It was great to see the Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Affairs at Newquay on Friday.”

“While it was very much a whistle-stop visit, I was keen to discuss with him the importance of bringing forward plans for a deposit return scheme for single use plastic bottles in England. With such a scheme now happening in Scotland, we need to act soon and make this sensible and progressive plan a reality.”

“As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Protect Our Waves, this week I am joining with a cross party group of MPs and Surfers Against Sewage to present a petition signed by thousands of members of the public supporting this scheme.”

I will continue to press the issue in Parliament and ensure that when the Government does take further steps the final scheme is one that is effective in reducing the numbers of plastic bottles that get dumped into our seas and end up on our beaches.”

 

Update 24 July 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has welcomed last week’s commitment from Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove MP, that he wants the Government to introduce a plastic bottle deposit scheme "as soon as possible".

Following his speech on ‘Green Brexit’ the Secretary of State said he wants the Government to introduce a plastic bottle deposit scheme "as soon as possible", and that "change needs to come" as plastic pollution is "killing whales, choking dolphins and degrading our oceans and seas".

Describing a plastic bottle deposit scheme as a "great idea", he said it was vital to devise a programme "that others can buy into".

Commenting, Steve said:

“It is great to see growing support for the campaign to introduce a plastic bottle deposit return scheme. With the Government clearly now ‘buying into’ the need to introduce a plastic bottle deposit scheme as part of its ‘Green Brexit’ plans I am more hopeful than ever that we can see something done in the very near future. This really is positive news.”

“With government, the drinks industry and environmental campaign groups all agreeing that a return scheme is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of plastic polluting our seas I see no reason why this will not now happen.”

“As always, the devil will be in the detail. As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Protect Our Waves we have campaigned with Surfers Against Sewage for these changes. I will continue to press the issue in Parliament and ensure that when the Government does take further steps the final scheme is one that is effective in reducing the numbers of plastic bottles that get dumped into our seas and end up on our beaches.”

 

 

Update 14 July 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has urged the Secretary of State for the Environment to act on plastic bottle deposit return scheme following an announcement by the Government that one would be considered earlier this week.

Speaking in Parliament during Leader of the House Questions, Steve said:

“The Leader of the House will be aware of the looming crisis involving the amount of plastic entering our seas and oceans. We are quickly getting to the point where there ​will be more plastic than fish in the sea. In the light of that, I warmly welcomed the comment by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that the Government are now considering introducing a plastic bottle deposit return scheme, but can we have a statement from the Secretary of State, so we can discuss and indeed promote that scheme in the Chamber?”

In reply, the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House, said:

“As my hon. Friend will know, I am passionately concerned about that issue. I was delighted with the results of the consultation on the banning of microbeads in face wash and other products and with the results of our litter strategy, which looks at what else we can do to eradicate plastics from our oceans. Eighty per cent. of the plastics that end up in the ocean come from the land, and it is important that we deal with litter on the land as well. I am sure that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be keen to do just that, and that he will come to the House in due course when he has something clear to say.”

Speaking after the debate, Steve said:

“As Chairman of the Protect our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group, I see Lord Gardiner’s announcement earlier this week  that the Government is to have a full and proper look at the impacts and benefits of different types of deposit and reward-and-return schemes for drinks bottles as a welcome step forward.”

“Through the APPG Protect our Waves we have lobbied the Government to take action, including my Question in Parliament today, and I am pleased that we have raised the profile of this important issue and started a big conversation over what needs to happen next.”

“We clearly need to take responsibility for the huge numbers of single use plastic bottles, straws and related items that end up polluting our marine environments in vast numbers and it is for groups such as Surfers Against Sewage to champion the cause in working with the Government to look at a full range of ideas on how to reduce their use.”

“As I have repeatedly set out, I believe a bottle deposit scheme, a bottom-up movement enabling the consumer to participate direct in managing waste disposal, is a great idea and preferable to taxing incentives on the manufacturers themselves.”

"On that note it is also good to see Coca Cola taking a first step in combating this issue. There is always more to do though, and we look forward to working with Government and the business sector to attack this marine menace from all sides.”

 

 

Update 12 July 2017

Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the Government would consider introducing a plastic bottle deposit scheme.

Speaking yesterday, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the environment minister, said:

“We are going to look at a number of measures to improve recycling. One of them is to have a full and proper look at the impacts and benefits of different types of deposit and reward-and-return schemes for drinks.”

This comes at the same time that Coca-Cola is funding trials, due to start next year, with bottles of up to half a litre, which are generally discarded outside the home where people will be offered either cash or a shopping voucher to return empty plastic bottles of any brand to collection points. Coca-Cola has said the scheme could be introduced across the country if the trials showed that it improved recycling rates and reduced litter.

Commenting, Steve said:

“As Chairman of the Protect our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group this is a welcome step from the Government.”

“More than 13 billion single-use plastic bottles are sold in Britain each year and only 57 per cent of these are recycled, with the remainder sent to rubbish dumps, incinerated or left as litter. Millions of them end up on beaches and in the sea where they will pollute our marine environment for years to come.”

“I welcome the Government’s announcement that they are looking at a number of measures to improve recycling and eagerly await their next steps.”