The UK needs to introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles to boost the recycling rate to 90%.
That’s according to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which has called on the government to implement a number of measures to reduce waste.
Other suggestions include making it a legal requirement to provide free drinking water in public premises, to make producers financially responsible for the plastic packaging they produce and to increase the number of public water fountains.
The group says these measures are necessary to cut the 12 million tonnes plastic being thrown in the world’s oceans each year.
Currently, packaging producers only pay for around a tenth of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for the remainder.
The EAC says this is one of several reasons the UK’s rate of recycling for plastic bottles has stalled for the past five years.
Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the EAC, said: “Urgent action is needed to protect our environment from the devastating effects of marine plastic pollution which, if it continues to rise at current rates, will outweigh fish by 2050.”