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Bottle Deposit Scheme Needed to Cut UK Plastic Pollution in Oceans

Source: The Guardian/Sandra Laville - August 7, 2017 in Politics

Bottle Deposit Scheme Needed to Cut UK Plastic Pollution in Oceans
Photo: Wilfredo Rodriguez/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Plastic marine litter could be cut significantly if the government adopted a bottle deposit scheme as part of five key actions to tackle pollution of the oceans, a green thinktank has said.

The single most effective action to reduce plastic pollution in the seas would be a container return scheme along the lines of those run in large parts of Europe, north America and Australia, according to a new analysis by Green Alliance. In such schemes, a small tax is added to recyclable and reusable containers at the point of sale, which consumers can reclaim by returning them.

The thinktank says its own research – using data from Australian analysis – shows 33% of plastic marine pollution comes from littering of drinks bottles.

They say a deposit scheme would capture about 95% of littered plastic bottles – reducing marine litter by almost a third.

Green Alliance said announcements by the new environment secretary Michael Gove promising to tackle marine litter, and his announcement that the government is to legislate to ban microbeads in cosmetic products, were a step forward.

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