The government is considering whether to introduce a “reward and return” scheme for plastic bottles in a bid to tackle pollution.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove is seeking views on how such a scheme – where a small charge is returned to customers for each bottle they recycle – could work in England.
More than eight million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans each year, putting marine wildlife under serious threat.
Only 57% of plastic bottles sold in the UK in 2016 were collected for recycling.
According to the government, Denmark and South Australia have seen successful deposit schemes, which have led to a boost in recycling rates.
Mr Gove is inviting views on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of reward and return schemes for plastic, metal and glass drinks containers.
He said: “We must protect our oceans and marine life from plastic waste if we are to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. That means tackling the rise in plastic bottles entering our waters by making it simpler and easier to recycle and dispose of them appropriately.”