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How are the new bottle deposit schemes going to work?

how are the new bottle deposit schemes going to workEnvironment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced that the government will commit to introducing further efforts to cut plastic waste in the UK, including a bottle and can deposit scheme, in efforts to boost recycling figures and cut down on the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

Consultation will take place later this year to look at rolling it out, but how will the scheme actually work? Luckily there are lots of other examples around the world that can give us a clue or two.

The basic premise of a bottle and can deposit scheme is that a levy is added to the cost of any single-use glass or plastic bottle or steel and aluminium can. This extra cost can then be refunded when the bottle or can is returned. This helps to boost recycling and ultimately cut down on waste that goes to landfill or is littered into the environment.

Some factors that are still to be decided are the cost and the price of such a scheme. Across the world there are currently 40 counties that utilize a deposit return scheme as well as 21 US states. The price of the extra cost addition to the drink ranges between 8p and 22p with Germany at the top-end and Sweden the cheapest.

In terms of returning the bottles and cans, most schemes either see collections made at supermarkets and shops where they are purchased, or at automated collection points, typically in easy to access public areas such as supermarket car parks.

Obviously, not everyone will make the effort to return their bottles and cans for a deposit and what happens to the money when this happens varies from country to country. In some cases the money is donated to charities, while in other schemes the money goes back to the producer, retailer or is put towards the costs of running the scheme.

Currently in the UK only 7.5 billion plastic bottles are recycled every year out of the 13 billion sold. Another 15,000,000 are dropped as litter, landfilled or incinerated every day, a process which creates almost 250,000 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. The move towards a recycling scheme has also been welcomed by environmental activists concerned about the effect that plastic waste has on marine life, with recent figures showing that plastic pollution could treble in our seas within the decade unless efforts are taken to keep it in check.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state of the art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

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