Following the success of the plastic bag charge, which resulted in an 85% decrease in plastic bag usage, there are discussions in progress to launch a plastic bottle tax or deposit scheme in the UK.
Every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic is thrown away and washed out to sea. Recycle Now reports that over half of the 35 million plastic bottles used in the UK every day are not recycled , contributing to the damage on the environment. Plans are being called to trial a deposit scheme where consumers pay a deposit as part of the purchase prices of a plastic bottle, that is then refunded if they return the used bottles.
This is similar to Norway where each 500ml drinks bottle has a deposit equivalent to 10p, with larger bottles having a 25p deposit . Statistics show that 96% of bottles are returned for recycling in Norway at which point consumers are repaid the deposit. South Australia have also been running a deposit refund scheme for 40 years, where the return rate is 76.5%.
It has been estimated that 4 million plastic bottles a week  could be prevented from ending up on our streets and in our oceans if a deposit scheme is in place. Recycling plastic bottles is decreasing year on year, with Recycle Now  estimating that there will be another 29 billion plastic bottles which are unrecycled in 2020.
Green Alliance, an environmental charity, is campaigning for environment secretary Michael Gove to tackle plastic litter. As well as fully backing the deposit scheme , they are also asking to:
- Ban microbeads in all products
- Add sand traps to waste water treatment which would cut synthetic fibre waste by 85%
- Enforce Operation Clean Sweep to stop plastic pellet pollution
- Enforce existing bans on maritime waste to cut it by 90%