A new UK parliamentary report has proposed a deposit return scheme for all PET drinks bottles, the introduction of a ‘producer responsibility compliance fee’ that raise charges on plastics packaging considered difficult to recycle, and the mandatory phasing in of a minimum 50 per cent recycled plastics content in all plastics bottles by 2023 at the latest.

In a move to encourage people away from single use bottles, the report ‘Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide’, from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), also recommends that tap water from public supplies should be more readily available. This would be achieved by expanding the number of drinking fountains and by making it a requirement for all public premises serving food and drink to provide free drinking water.

The main thrust of the report appears to be a call to introduce a deposit return scheme for plastics drinks bottles, which it suggests will boost the recycling rate to 90 per cent. Mary Creagh MP and Chair of EAC, said in a statement: “The introduction of a small charge to encourage the return of plastics bottles will result in less littering, more recycling and reduction in the impact of plastics packaging on our natural environment.” It is suggested by the committee that the “small charge” could be around 10p-20p per bottle (13-27 cents).

Interestingly, the report mentions that it had heard concerns from local authorities that a deposit return scheme would reduce the income available to them through