Plastic bottle deposit scheme in the UK to encourage recycling
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Many countries have a bottle deposit scheme. This means you pay a small deposit for the bottle packaging at the shop and, if you return the bottle later, you can get that deposit money back again. It works a little bit like the 5 pence charge on plastic bags, except, in this case - you can get the money back if you recycle! I experienced this when I lived in Germany and it works for a number of reasons:
1. It encourages recycling. In 2017, of the 38 countries that have this scheme, return rates were as high as 95%. (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxeWGVsm818)
2. It's great when you get a little money back!
3. Homeless people and anyone strapped for cash help out. Though I hate to think people are using this as their main source of income, it does work towards solving the environmental issue. People would actually come up to you and offer to recycle the bottle for you.
4. Supermarkets get customers coming back to their stores because often the bottle deposit machine is placed inside their stores.
5. It stops plastic bottles entering our oceans which is better for marine life and also for your beach holidays.
So why don't we have this in the UK? I'd like to know because, Greenpeace shares, 35 million bottles get discarded every day in the UK.
Please sign this petition to create change and stop waste. It's easy to be sceptical about how much a petition can really change things but:
- this petition will be shared with many politicians, courtesy of Change.org
- this petition will also encourage the University of Nottingham to trial and showcase how a plastic bottle deposit scheme could work for the rest of the UK.
- If you want to see some examples of petitions that were successul in creating change, go to:
I also encourage sign Greenpeace's petition on the same topic, to create double the impact:
After researching the pros and cons of this scheme in other countries, I have developed a list of solutions to potential problems the UK may face when developing this scheme. Hence, this petition:
1. Does not support the collection of the bottles by any means that is not sustainable. (I.e. they must, for example, be collected by cars powered by electric made by a renewable source, or, by cycling couriers)
2. Supports including an option to give to charity on the machine. Upon every return machine there is a button which you can press which gives the money to charity instead of to yourself. For this, you don't get a reciept. They have a system like this at a university in Scotland and this lessens the amount of receipts printed. (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Se-eWJcogQ&list=WL&index=96&t=1s)
3. Supports having a receipt-free machine. Rather than a receipt, this petition supports the money coming directly from the machine to stop wasting paper.
4. Supports a policy whereby those companies which are contributing highly to plastic waste, they must account for the cost of the deposit the customer would usually pay themselves. I.e. If company wants to sell their product in a completely non biodegradable plastic, they cannot demand that the consumer pay the deposit. Then, the customers simply get extra pocket money for recycling it.
For every apparent problem, there must be a way of finding a solution! I'd love to hear other people's suggestions. :)
Cheers for reading!
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