Environment secretary Michael Gove has unveiled plans for a reward and return scheme for single use glass, plastic and cans in order to boost recycling.
It could mean increased charges for consumers that can be recouped by returning drinks containers to the point of purchase.
Almost a quarter of the 13 billion plastic bottles lone used in the UK are not recycled at present, contributing heavily to waste and environmental pollution.
Gove’s scheme will be rolled out in England following consultation. Scotland and Wales are further ahead with similar projects.
Industry bodies have welcomed the scheme alongside environmental groups and the news will provide a boost to the recycling sector. However, there will be concern that the costs to business are not punitive.
In several European countries, including Sweden and Germany, recycling schemes are well advanced, with returnable deposits ranging in size from 8p to 22p.
Others such as Norway have favoured so-called ‘reverse vending machines’, where users receive money back after depositing cans and bottles.