The magnitude of the problem related to single-use Plastic bottles is mind-boggling. Every year, billions of such bottles are discarded and, while a tiny percentage is recycled, the majority end up in landfills or the oceans and pollute the Environment. Incidentally, bottles of this category account for nearly one-third of marine Pollution. Therefore, England plans to take steps to check this menace by introducing a deposit return scheme for such bottles. Sky News reports that a scheme of this nature could gain acceptance. Wales is in favor of such a scheme, as is Scotland.

The customer will have to shell out a small amount when they buy the bottled drink which will be returned when surrendering the bottle. This exists in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany and it has proved useful.

Horrors of plastic

Plastic is a non-biodegradable material and will remain as an eyesore around us for decades. It poses serious dangers to animals, birds and fish who mistake them for edible substances. Dolphins get killed and turtles choke to death by swallowing plastics. In short, plastic destroys the ecological balance as well as the environment. The extent of recycling is negligible compared to the amount of pollutants that dot the countryside.

The need of the hour is to arrest the pollution resulting from billions of plastic bottles that do not enter the recycling chain.

Strategies must be evolved to rectify this shortcoming and bring them into the net for a better future. One of these strategies is the deposit return scheme. The second option is to give a cash reward to those who return the bottles voluntarily. This will be done by the vending machine which will be programmed to return money whenever an empty bottle is inserted.

The owners will be responsible to recycle these. It has proved to be a huge success in Germany.

Other options

The British government has banned plastic microbeads and has introduced a nominal charge for plastic bags. The result is heartening because it has led to a drastic drop in the number of such bags in circulation in the country.

According to estimates, there are millions of tons of plastic polluting the environment and thousands of marine lives are lost due to ingestion of these items. At times, they get entangled in the waste and die. The extent of pollution could have disastrous results and edge out the fish population. Green Port adds that there are plans to deploy drones to collect data on the extent of marine pollution from plastics. This data will be used to identify vulnerable areas, and will help to protect the fragile underwater ecosystem.