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Is the soft drinks industry bottling it?


As 2017 closed and we started to look forward to what 2018 has in store, it appears that some elements of the drinks industry are decidedly stuck in their old thinking as regards how to dispose of old plastic bottles. The Government is determined to try and stem the flood of plastic waste that ends up in the world’s oceans and one of the worst polluters is soft drinks plastic bottles.

The current en passé between the Government and the soft drinks industry centres on the proposed deposit and return scheme where customers can leave used plastic bottles in collection bins and receive a financial incentive for doing so, thus increasing the amount of recycling completed.

However, a report in The Daily Mail in late December highlighted the industry’s reluctance to establish the scheme, which has been hugely successful in other European nations. The soft drinks industry told Environment Ministers in Westminster that there was little public interest in the scheme following a survey conducted by the soft drinks industry that showed 78% of the general public thought recycling plastic bottles was a low priority.

At a meeting held on 24 October 2017 at the Palace of Westminster Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Nestle and Danone, Britvic UK and Coca Cola were all invited to offer their solutions and comments. The details of the meeting were only released following a Freedom of Information Request asked for by Greenpeace. The Environment Minister Michael Gove favours the deposit and return scheme and is keen to see it introduced across the country.


UKVending supports efforts to recycle as many of the plastic soft drink bottles as possible and works with a number of local, national and international environment charities and organisations to try and change the tide of plastic waste ending in the world’s oceans.

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