Biopac is pleased to see the concerns around single-use plastics still very much prominent in the press. Such levels of exposure will only help highlight the ongoing issues that the industry is facing. Today, the Government has announced a proposal to introduce a deposit return scheme in England on drinks bottles and cans in a bid to boost recycling and cut waste.

The BBC has reported that UK consumers use around 13 billion plastic drink bottles a year however more than three billion are not being recycled. Under the proposal, a deposit charged to consumers will see an increase in prices for single-use glass and plastic bottles, and steel and aluminium cans, but it is proposed that this additional cost (deposit) will be refunded to the consumer if they return the container for recycling. Scotland has announced plans for a similar scheme, which already operates in Germany and Sweden.

Following on from our previous statement on plastics and the Latte Levy, we would like to reiterate our stance that an additional charge to the consumer is a short term ‘band aid’ reaction and not a solution. It merely patches over the underlying issues with waste management and infrastructure in the UK. Disposal routes for recycling are fragmented throughout the country and vary depending on the local council’s thoughts towards waste.

Whilst it may create an increase in bottle recycling, it will not impact on the many other single use plastics discarded each day. The UK’s waste management service has been unable to keep up with the rise in single-use plastics which has contributed to the issues we currently face and a longer-term solution needs to be sought.

We are always on hand to talk to anyone with concerns over their packaging waste and how to improve their sustainability. We welcome the ongoing discussions surrounding this important issue but encourage the UK Government to consider a major overhaul to the waste infrastructure that is so desperately needed.

Contact Biopac on 01386 555 777 or email