Plastic bottle by Andy Hughes, Dominant Wave Theory.
A deposit on plastic bottles and cans in England is a big win for the ocean, but it is just the start.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats. It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.”
A deposit on plastic bottles and cans in England has been given the go ahead and could be implemented in a years time.
Plastic bottles make up 30% of marine debris, breaking down over decades and entering the food chain via fish, who think the micro plastics are food.
About 700,000 bottles a day are littered in England. (Check the roadside verges where you are).
The bottles then get blown into drains and rivers, and from there start their journey to the sea. Studies have shown a 15 pence deposit would encourage recycling and reduce littering by 600,000 bottles a day.
The recycling scheme also helps by isolating PET plastic (bottles) from other contaminants
Norway has the most successful deposit scheme, with 96% of bottles returned. The unclaimed deposits on the other 4% go to the running costs of the scheme.
Of course this is only start, but imagine if people could earn cash for clearing up plastics.
Ultimately plastic producers have to find a better biodegradable materials, and legal action will have to be taken to hold polluting companies accountable for their waste, but this is a start.