New plan would pay your deposit back if you return your drinks containers

Blue Planet II just keeps makin’ waves.

On Wednesday, the UK government proposed plans for all drinks containers — be they plastic, metal, or glass — to be part of a deposit return scheme. The plan is subject to consultation with producers, suppliers, and consumers later this year.

This means that the prices on drinks will be slightly higher, but people will be able to get some money back when they return the containers.

Once returned, the companies will be in charge of responsibly recycling the containers.

Many other countries deploy similar schemes, including Germany where 99% of plastic bottles are recycled.

This drive for less plastic waste has been largely attributed to the awareness raised by the documentary series Blue Planet II

“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,” Environment Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC.

“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.”

Many campaigners have welcomed the change, but are wary of half-measures.

Elena Polisano, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, told the Guardian that she was glad to see the government acting on public opinion, but, “The government must be careful to avoid a voluntary scheme that only applies to some retailers.”

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