The Government has failed to make progress on deciding whether to introduce a deposit return scheme and is instead “kicking it into the long grass” according to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
Plastic Bottles: Turning Back the Plastic Tide was published by the EAC in December 2017 and called for the Government to force retailers take back plastic bottles as part of a deposit return scheme.
The government said it would make a decision as part of a Treasury consultation on introducing a new tax on single use plastics including drinks bottles. Three months later the consultation is yet to begin.
EAC chair and MP Mary Creagh said the Treasury was “dragging its feet” and added “The Government needs to take decisive action on this important issue instead of kicking it into the long grass."
Creagh said plans for free tap water to reduce bottled water sales had also been delayed.
When the consultation was first announced ACS CEO James Lowman said the consultation was: “the right approach for delivering lasting benefits” and pledged to take part in the debate on reforming plastic waste regulation.
Speaking in Parliament last week, NFRN president Linda Sood said: “We welcome the introduction of a bottle return scheme but it is critical an industry solution must be found that is acceptable to all.”
Separate plans by the Welsh and Scottish Governments to introduce their own deposit return schemes are unaffected by the UK parliament delay.