London (AFP) – Britain on Wednesday announced plans for consumers to pay a deposit on plastic bottles as part of a broader push to tackle pollution.
The government will introduce a charge on plastic, glass and metal single use drinks containers sold in England, the environment ministry said.
The move is aimed at cutting the amount of waste produced in Britain — including an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles annually.
“It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled,” said environment minister Michael Gove.
“We want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans,” he added.
The deposit scheme to be introduced in Britain will be opened for consultation to determine how it will work.
The environment ministry pointed to similar schemes in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, where a charge of up to 22 pence (25 euro cents) is refunded once the empty bottle is deposited.
The measure follows the 2015 introduction of a 5 pence charge for carrier bags in most shops, which the government has said cut the number of plastic bags by 9 billion.
Britain is also due to put plastics pollution on the agenda at next month’s Commonwealth summit, attended by more than 50 leaders, the prime minister’s spokesman said.