England will now follow the lead of Scotland and 40 other European states to introduce a deposit for plastic bottles and aluminium cans used by the soft drink industry.
Consumers will no longer be able to regard packaging as disposable and free as a new deposit tax will cause prices to increase. Consumers will be entitled to a refund. The value of the deposit tax has yet to be specified but it will be enough to encourage recycling. The policy has been effectively tested with bags, reducing the use of single carrier plastic items by 83%.
The British Plastics Federation projects the cost of the infrastructure in the region at €1,2 billion, some of the cost will be born by the retailers.
Environmental groups are hailing the new policy. The move is part of the government’s response to increasing concerns about the contamination of the sea, lakes, and rivers by plastics. British consumers use 13 billion plastic drink bottles a year, 3 billion of which are not recycled.