Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

By James Matthews, Scotland Correspondent
Nicola Sturgeon has committed the Scottish Government to the introduction of a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles.
The initiative, which aims to cut single-use plastic waste, is partly prompted by Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign.It will apply to plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans.
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the plans to the Scottish Parliament
Unveiling her legislative programme for the coming year to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, the First Minister told MSPs that her ministers will "do more to support the circular economy and reduce waste"."I can confirm today that we will design and introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, as an important part of our determination to tackle litter and clean up our streets," she said.
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh has a bottle deposit scheme with machines such as that pictured
The Scottish Government had already commissioned a detailed study into a deposit return scheme (DRS).And Sky News understands its ministers have been following Sky's campaign closely, with concerns raised in its coverage fed into their decision-making.Scottish ministers will now look at what DRS will work best, balancing the interests of the environment with the concerns of those opposed to such a scheme.:: Why plastic bottle return scheme is a big deal
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

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Coca-Cola reversed its opposition to a scheme in Scotland after Sky News exposed its strategy to "fightback" against it.However, other drinks companies remain opposed to a DRS.
Barr's, the makers of Irn-Bru, have said that it could be subject to fraud and create the possibility of cross-border trafficking of "deposit-bearing containers".
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

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Catherine Gemmell, of the Marine Conservation Society, described plans for a DRS as an "absolutely fantastic idea".She said: "Unfortunately, over the last few years, we have seen a big increase across our beaches on bottles, on cans and on glass as well."This is why we think a deposit return system will have a huge impact on decreasing the amount that we're finding on our beaches."We had a huge success a couple of years ago with the 5p carrier bag charge - after that was put in place, we saw a 40% decrease in bags on our beaches, so we think deposit return is definitely the next best thing."
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

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John Mayhew, of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, also welcomed the commitment.He said: "That's a really great move for Scotland and I'd also like to say how much we appreciate the support we've had from Sky News over the last year."We know that it will reduce litter, tackle climate change, it'll boost our recycling rates in Scotland, it'll save money for local authorities and it'll produce better materials that we can use in our recycling industry."
Plan to give shoppers cash for plastic bottles

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:: Find out why we need deposit return schemes in a Sky News special programme, A Plastic Tide, at 9pm on Tuesday
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