David Melding AM has today welcomed the UK Conservative Government’s announcement that it will introduce a bottle deposit return scheme in England.
The Welsh Conservative spokesman for the Environment and Sustainability has hailed the announcement as ‘game-changing’.
Mr Melding recently argued that politicians were falling behind the incredible social and commercial movements that were developing to combat plastic pollution and waste, and had called on the Welsh Labour Government to take stronger action.
Environmental policy is devolved in Wales, and the Welsh Government has only gone as far as committing to a pilot deposit return scheme ‘project’, with details of the project yet to be unveiled.
The UK Government’s scheme announced today by Michael Gove, which will be introduced subject to a consultation later this year, will include plastic, glass and metal containers in a bid to improve recycling rates and to reduce the amount of waste that is produced.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Melding said:
“This announcement is an incredibly bold move by the UK Government, and follows a long list of measures that have been introduced by the Conservatives to improve the environmental well-being of the United Kingdom.
“The UK uses around 13 billion plastic bottles each year, and only 7.5 billion of those get recycled. That means that around 5.5 billion plastic bottles are either landfilled, littered or incinerated, and that’s not including the impact of glass bottles or metal cans.
“We know that deposit return schemes have hugely successful return rates in countries like Norway, Finland and Australia, so it is welcome news that Conservatives in England will be leading the way to end the scourge of waste in our environment.
“This is a game-changing announcement and the Welsh Labour Government needs to urgently review its approach on the issue, so that we can start tackling excessive waste in Wales once and for all”.