Plastic bottle tax

20th January 2017 | Recycling

A plastic bottle tax could be introduced to tackle waste. This is part of a crackdown on waste clogging up landfill sites and entering the sea.
Customers could be forced to pay an extra 10p or 20p for every plastic bottle or container they buy. This would then be reclaimed if they return it as part of a deposit return scheme.

The plastic bottle tax idea has already trialled in Scotland and it led to the 5p plastic bag tax alongside Wales. Ministers are understood to be evaluating the results of a number of pilots to see if similar schemes could work in England. Such schemes are already popular in Europe, America and Canada.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey

Environment minister Therese Coffey said the Government is developing a new litter strategy. This could address the issue of one-use plastic bottles which are not recycled at home. She said, “The consultation is out there on micro-beads but there is in that a call for wider evidence about the need to tackle other plastics.

“The Secretary of State is personally interested in this matter and intends to set up an innovation fund that may explore new ides to tackle it.”

A Government source ruled out a flat tax on plastic bottles similar to the charge for bags, but confirmed that ministers are looking closely at the Scottish scheme as part of a consultation. It is understood that there are concerns about the amount of money it could cost to set up the deposit return system in the UK and about whether consumers would embrace the idea.

Last year Elena Sautkina, an environmental psychology expert, published research showing that since the plastic bag charge, voters across the UK have grown more sympathetic to the idea of a plastic bottle deposit scheme.

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