Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced the implementation of a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic bottles in England, following the final straw for many businesses who are introducing replacement paper straws. The Deposit Return Scheme is a programme designed to increase recycling rates and to reduce the amount of waste pollution.
So what do these changes mean for British plastics? The scheme comes as recycling rates in Britain fell to 44% last year after flatlining for five years. Last year, the Guardian newspaper publicised that more than half of the plastic bottles sold in Britain every day are not collected for recycling and are instead left as litter or put to landfill.
It is clear that British consumers are more environmentally conscious than previous generations. And with Britain only recycling 57% of plastic bottles, we’re taking inspiration from European countries such as Germany and Sweden who recycle more than 90% of consumable plastics due to the operation of Deposit Return Schemes in their country.
Whilst focus is on how end users treat their plastics when finished with its desired use, companies across all of the supply chain need to take notice of what this environmental trend means going forward.
Distributors and suppliers all need to enforce the impact that plastic pollution has on the environment when it is discarded and the global benefits it can have with the recycling and reusing of all plastic.