Government plan for plastic bottle deposit scheme welcomed

12th October 2017
news
release

Gove investigates deposit scheme for drinks plastic bottles – but stays silent on tougher action on bee-harming pesticides

Michael Gove’s consultation on a deposit scheme for drinks containers in England has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth.

But the environmental campaign group expressed disappointment at the environment secretary’s failure to back tougher action on bee-harming pesticides in his Conservative party speech earlier today.

Deposit scheme for plastic bottles

Commenting on a deposit scheme for plastic bottles, Friends of the Earth campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“We’re delighted Michael Gove is investigating a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. These sorts of initiatives are popular, effective at protecting wildlife and the environment, and provide a powerful incentive to companies to make their products less wasteful. “Plastic waste is immeasurably harmful to the environment and to marine animals in particular.

“But Mr Gove should look beyond plastic bottles to our ever-growing mountain of food, electronic and other waste. It’s time his department took back control of what has been an embarrassing policy area for the government ever since the coalition government’s ill-fated Waste Review in 2011.”

Bees

Commenting on Michael Gove’s failure to pledge tougher action to protect Britain’s bees, Friends of the Earth campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“With mounting scientific evidence of the threat neonicotinoid pesticides pose to our bees, it’s disappointing that Michael Gove didn’t use his conference speech to back European Commission proposals for tougher rules on these chemicals.

“If Michael Gove wants to be a friend of the earth he should give his support to a complete and permanent ban on these pesticides – and pledge to keep the UK neonic-free post-Brexit.”

*** Ends

Contact: Neil Verlander, Friends of the Earth press office: 020 7566 1649/ 07712 843 209

Notes to editors

1. Views sought on reward and return schemes for drinks containers | DEFRA press release  2. A YouGov survey for Friends of the Earth published today revealed that over three quarters of the UK public (76%) think the UK government should support EU proposals to extend current restrictions on bee-harming pesticides to all crops.