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Glass and Plastic Deposit Return Scheme

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 6th February 2020.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

When she plans to introduce a deposit return scheme for (a) glass and (b) plastic.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In our manifesto, the Government committed to introducing a deposit return scheme to incentivise people to recycle plastic and glass. We are aiming to introduce that scheme from 2023. The Environment Bill that was published recently includes an important section on waste and recycling, and will introduce powers to establish deposit return schemes. A deposit return scheme would include aluminium and steel cans, alongside plastic and glass bottles. The final details of the scheme, including types of drinks containers to be included, are being developed and will be presented in a second consultation.

Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

I thank the Minister for her response. I think the whole House welcomes the introduction of the deposit return scheme in the Environment Bill, but the concern is that it is overly prescriptive, specifying two categories of plastic, rather than creating a framework that could be amended and widened in scope to incorporate more materials that could be recycled in future.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

I thank the hon. Member for his comments. I am delighted that he is so interested in the scheme. The first consultation had very wide support and we will have a further consultation. The industries wanting to use the collected recycled materials, particularly plastics, want very pure and well-sorted materials so that they can then turn them into the next products. We are thinking about this very seriously. More will be heard in the second consultation and that will come through in the Environment Bill.