Gove launches consultation on English bottle and can deposit return scheme

A call for evidence on how reward and return schemes for plastic, metal and glass drinks containers could help to tackle England’s littering problem has been launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday (2 October), Gove launched the call for evidence, which will be open for four weeks, while ministers have asked the Voluntary and Economic Incentives Working Group, set up as part of the UK’s Litter Strategy, to accelerate its work and report back in early 2018.

Organisations and individuals will be asked to share their views with the government on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of return schemes for various drinks containers and whether they could help stem the flow of litter entering the marine environment.

The possibility of an English deposit-return scheme (DRS) follows Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to introducing a similar system across Scotland – something that Zero Waste Scotland is currently investigating.