By Natasha Clark
The Sun’s Show Some Bottle is our campaign to urge ministers to bring forward plans for a plastic deposit return scheme to help clean up the planet and slash our emissions.
Less than half of our plastic packaging such as bottles is recycled, and as Britain steps up to host the international COP26 climate summit this November, we are calling on the Government to get on with its plans to help us recycle more.
Ministers said they were minded to introduce a deposit scheme years ago, but have dragged their feet. But 45 other countries and states already have these schemes and have seen their recycling rates go through the roof in response.
Brits get through 14billion plastic drinks bottles, nine billion cans and five billion bottles every year, many of which get used only once.
It can end up in landfill, as litter in our parks, and even destroy our precious wildlife too. Each new bottle takes energy to produce, adding to the emissions which are warming our planet.
In Britain, 70 per cent of waste is now recycled – a great achievement. But we can do much more.
We know all Sun readers are keen recyclers but up to half of plastic packaging waste still isn’t recycled – and we know we can do better.
Two in three of you said you would change your behaviour if it helped to save money as well.
With a 20p incentive, this scheme could help the nation to go greener. A nationwide deposit return scheme, with reverse vending machines in shops, supermarkets and schools, would make recycling even more normal.
WHY NOW? As Britain hosts COP26, the world will be watching us. A further Government consultation on the idea is coming this spring, and Scotland plans for a scheme next year.
The Environment Bill is coming back to Parliament later this year, which would be a great opportunity to include it.
CASH INCENTIVE: A deposit return scheme would do much to persuade people to recycle more. With 20p on the cost of a can of Coke – which you would get back after recycling it – it could be the difference between someone chucking it away and recycling it properly.
CUT WASTE TO LANDFILL: It’s not always easy to recycle bottles.
Those that get chucked away go to landfill, and sturdy plastic bottles can take 450 YEARS to break down. But the recycled ones can go back into the system several times over.
SLASH LITTER: In 2020, Keep Britain Tidy reported that 75 per cent of the volume of litter on our streets was made up of drinks containers.
CREATE JOBS: Such a scheme could generate 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, right at the moment when hundreds of thousands of Brits are out of work because of Covid.
SLASH POLLUTING CARBON:Recycling is far more energy efficient than making new plastic, aluminium or glass from scratch. Scotland’s
Deposit Return Scheme will reduce emissions by around four million tonnes of CO2eq (carbon dioxide equivalent) over 25 years.
BACKING BUSINESS: Vending machines provide the perfect opportunity for on-screen advertising to millions of people nationwide.
And placing them in shops will encourage more people back to the shops after lockdown.
WHY THE SUN? Of our readers who responded, 60 per cent said they would change their behaviour to have less environmental impact if it also saved them money, 97 per cent already recycle, and 78 per cent feel well informed by the local council about recycling.
But half say it could be better, with 19 per cent saying they don’t feel guidelines are adequate.