The Environment Secretary for Scotland, Richard Lochhead believes offering financial incentives to people will encourage greater levels of recycling across Scotland, according to the BBC.
Mr. Lochhead’s plan is based on an already existing model in Sweden, where a small deposit is added to the cost of a drink and is then given back to the consumer when returned to a recycling depot. It’s hoped that the scheme will help to solve litter problems, most notably in Scotland, where recent research estimated four plastic bottles and three drinks cans can be found in every 100ms of motorway.
The Swedes claim to have increased recycling rates by 85%, and the Scottish government is hoping for a similar increase there. Some drinks companies have already backed the scheme. Irn Bru already charge a 30p deposit on their bottles, which is returned when the bottle is recycled.
Mr. Lochhead is determined to make Scotland “a land where littering is no longer acceptable….We want to encourage more Scots to recycle and, in turn, help deal with our litter problem, so it is right that we reflect on how this model could work in Scotland.”
If the initiative is successful it could become a nationwide thing, with campaigners in England already excited at the prospect. Andy Walker, Director at Keep Britain Tidy, told the BBC “It is good to see Scotland contemplating a bottle deposit scheme. Incentivising people to do the right thing is a good thing and evidence from other countries shows that such initiatives can reduce littering dramatically.”
It remains to be seen whether the initiative will prove to be a success in Scotland, but the environmentally conscious throughout the UK will be waiting with baited breath to see if the impact is indeed a positive one.