Many of the UK’s biggest retailers have been accused of trying to ‘water down’ a new proposed plastic bottle recycling scheme that is set to be rolled out by the government.

Campaigners have been asking for a deposit of 15p+ to be added to large and small plastic containers when purchased by consumers. This fee is then refunded when containers are recycled. However, retailers argue that the smaller bottles cause the most issues around plastic waste and that larger containers are recycled more often as they used by people in their homes.

In proposals as part of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, the UK may soon follow schemes that have proven to be a success in countries like Norway. Norwegian consumers pay a deposit on every bottle and then are refunded with a coupon when they recycle. This has resulted in 97% of plastic bottled being recycled.

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Plastic waste campaigners have been angered by the attitude of retailers

Plastic waste campaigners have been angered by the attitude of retailers. In an interview with the BBC, Libby Peake from the organisation Green Alliance said: “Introducing a deposit on all containers would improve the flow of materials into the recycling stream – that’ll be a major plus.”

The public is being asked for their thoughts over the next 12 weeks, before the government make a decision.