New calls for bottle return scheme to cut beach litter

A bottle on a beach Image copyright Getty Images

Fresh calls for Wales to introduce a bottle deposit return scheme have been made by an environmental charity.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said figures showed "a steady rise" in the number of caps, lids and glass bottles found on Welsh beaches in the last five years.

MCS said similar calls in Scotland were gathering momentum.

The Welsh Government said it would commission a study which will consider the benefits of a bottle scheme.

Campaigners have previously called for a scheme where shoppers would pay a deposit when buying cans or bottles, which would be refunded when they return them empty.

MCS, which wants takeaway containers to be "fully compostable", has set up a Welsh Assembly petition asking the Welsh Government to bring in a bottle deposit return scheme.

Image copyright Tim Fanshawe

It said an equivalent campaign in Scotland had the support of 60 MSPs, with drinks giant Coca-Cola backing the idea.

Dr Sue Kinsey, an MCS technical specialist, said: "Deposit return systems have been known to increase high-quality recycling levels to over 90% in other parts of the world and decrease littering. Imagine that in Wales.

"Plus, if all takeaway containers were fully compostable in Wales, there would be a really positive impact on litter levels across Welsh beaches."

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "We are about to commission research on the feasibility and desirability of introducing extended producer responsibility for food and drink packaging in Wales.

"This will include a consideration of the benefits of introducing a deposit return scheme. The study will identify and focus on the waste with the highest environmental impact."

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