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A deposit return scheme for Scotland?

Posted by Alice Hunter - 11th November 2016


A truckload of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute.

When I first heard this statistic I couldn’t believe it. But the evidence is all around us – from tiny microbeads in our toothpaste to images of seabirds with stomachs full of plastic. Plastic pollution is out of control.

In the UK alone, 35 million plastic bottles are used and discarded every single day. But how can we stem this tide of plastic?

Deposit return schemes are not a new idea, but they could help provide the solution to this unprecedented new plastic problem.

The concept is simple – when you buy a bottled drink you pay a little bit extra, and when you return the bottle, you get your money back.

Not only does this incentivise more people to return their bottles to collection points, it also puts pressure on the companies who produce bottles to ensure that their materials are recyclable.

A recent poll showed that 93% of people in Scotland are concerned about the effect of plastic litter in the ocean on marine wildlife and birds.

Pieces of plastic end up in the stomachs of seabirds, fish and whales – but that’s just part of the problem. Over many years, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which mix with the sand on the seabed. At this point it’s almost impossible to remove this plastic from the ocean.

There is already a huge amount of public and political support for the creation of a scheme in Scotland.

Scotland was ahead of the curve on the plastic bag charge – now there’s an opportunity to lead the way in the UK towards solving this plastic problem.

Sign the petition calling on Roseanna Cunningham to create a deposit return scheme in Scotland.


Article Tagged as: Featured, Oceans, scotland


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