How could Britain benefit?
According to new evidence, Britain could recycle more plastic bottles by adding a small deposit charge to each sale.
The latest figures come from Norway where the country has the world’s most effective recycling scheme on plastic bottles, it is known as the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).
The figures show a massive 96 per cent of plastic bottles are returned by consumers for recycling.
A normal standard 500ml bottle comes with a deposit of 1 Norwegian Kroner, the equivalent to 10p here in the UK, larger bottles come with 2.5 Kroner deposit (25p).
Consumers money gets refunded after the bottles have been returned.
Any unclaimed deposits get put back into the system, with the balance made up by drinks manufacturers.
Fewer than half of the bottles sold within the UK are recycled effectively.
The form of plastic known as PET found in the bottles is quite valuable.
Kjell Olav Maldum, who runs the Norway’s bottle recycling scheme Infinitum, said eight per cent of annual oil production is used to make plastic.
He added: “Plastic, when you make it from oil, uses a lot of energy,”
“If you collect it from recycled material through a deposit system you take care of the material.”
“You keep it clean and you can use it again and again.”
In the UK 35.8m bottles are consumed daily, 16m of these avoid recycling schemes. This is according to Recycling Now.
Zero Waste Scotland is currently campaigning to get a DRS system put into place, it believes it can boost recycling rates by 85 per cent. It also reckons this would save local authorities £13m a year on collections.
Members of the Scottish Parliament are currently in Norway studying the countries DRS system.
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