It’s high time the government takes its lead from the public and introduces a scheme of all sizes and all materials that will give us the best chance to combat litter and plastic pollution once and for all.”
A landmark poll has revealed that people in Britain support an ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme model with a variable deposit.
Some 84 percent of the UK public believes that all drinks containers should be included in the Government’s proposed scheme – up from 69 percent in May last year.
Almost four-in-five believe that the scheme should have a variable deposit – a departure from the Government’s consultation where some 57 percent favoured a flat deposit level.
The UK Government has committed to introducing a deposit return scheme covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2023.
Campaigners believe an ‘all-in’ scheme with a variable deposit is key to tackling Britain’s waste crisis. They argue a comprehensive scheme capturing as many materials as possible will be easier for consumers to understand and is the most effective model for reducing waste.
The Scottish Government passed legislation in May to introduce its ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme in 2022.
Campaigners have warned the flat deposit could make it more economical for consumers to buy drinks in larger plastic bottles.
They argue a flat deposit represents a substantial percentage increase on the price of small drinks servings compared to larger servings. This could compound the plastic crisis and encourage consumers to purchase larger portions of sugary drinks.
The poll was commissioned by Nature 2030, an international coalition of businesses, politicians and campaigners doing right by the environment in the 2020s and beyond.
Populus polled 2087 members of the UK public aged 18 and over between 29-31 May this year. Academics and campaigners have welcomed the results.
A spokesman for the Nature 2030 campaign said: “The public has spoken. With Whitehall set to introduce a deposit return scheme over the next few years, Ministers have got the necessary time to design a system that has the support of consumers across Britain.
Dr Sian Henley, lecturer in Marine Science at the University of Edinburgh said: “The survey results show the British public supports the introduction of a deposit return scheme that puts the environment first.
"Making the deposit return scheme as comprehensive as possible ensures no materials will be left to litter our precious seas and coastline for generations to come.”
Dr Laura Foster, head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “It’s high time the government takes its lead from the public and introduces a scheme of all sizes and all materials that will give us the best chance to combat litter and plastic pollution once and for all.”
This article is based on a press release from Nature 2030.