At Birmingham Friends of the Earth we are campaigning for a national deposit return scheme on plastic bottles. In Britain, there has been a huge drop in number of plastic carrier bags, as a result of asking people to pay 5p for them. We feel that a similar approach to plastic drinks containers could play a vital role in reducing the number of plastic bottles used. We used to have deposits on bottles in Britain in 1960s, 70s and they were returned During the 1960’s, 70’s we had a bottle deposit scheme in Britain which worked really well in increasing the number of bottles being recycled.
Today there are many countries across the world which allow people to recycle plastic bottles through a deposit scheme. Giving a deposit on drinks containers works well for returning bottles in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, parts of USA and Australia, and they have much higher recycling rates and less litter!
Scotland has introduced deposit return and many organisations are backing a nation-wide scheme to include England and the government is looking at whether it should be introduced.