A container-deposit system is a system which requires a small deposit on drink containers when being sold. The government did say this was “unlikely” to be implemented back in 2017 but was proposed again last year given the success of the 5p plastic bag charge and the public’s heightened awareness of the plastic waste going into our oceans with documentaries like Blue Planet. Some 20 countries have already implemented a container deposit scheme including: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and ten states in the US.

One advantage of implementing this kind of system would be to further encourage recycling and assist existing recycling programs, to reduce energy and material usage for glass, plastic and aluminium drink containers. For example, in Germany where there is a container–deposit system and the deposit on each plastic bottle is around 25 cents. Germany has a 98% plastic bottle recycling rate however in England this falls to 57%. Furthermore, this would reduce the strain on taxpayer-funded landfills.

Another advantage would be the reduced litter along public areas. This is because where this litter occurs, a small deposit provides an incentive to clean it up. This can be a source of income to some low-income individuals.

However, one disadvantage would be the significant cost of the infrastructure like more recycling centres as they would need to keep up with the increased plastic recycling.

Overall, I think that England should introduce a container-deposit system as the short-term costs will outweigh the long-term environmental benefits.