The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has taken a Tomra reverse vending machine (RVM) to Parliament as part of a campaign to establish a deposit return scheme (DRS) in the UK “as soon as possible”.
Environment secretary Michael Gove said the RVS “couldn’t be simpler”.
In March, Gove announced that a DRS would be set up in the UK. A consultation on the scheme is expected soon, and Gove has said legislation would be put before Parliament in 2020.
The move could see thousands of RVMs set up in shops and civic sites across the UK in order to capture on-the-go aluminium and plastic drinks container recycling.
An event organised by Conservative MP Alex Chalk saw the MCS bring a Tomra RVM to Westminster. Tomra is the largest manufacturer of such equipment in Europe.
The event was timed to encourage MPs to respond to the Government’s consultation on single-use plastics which closes on 18 May.
Emma Crane, MCS public affairs manager, said: “We arranged for a state-of-the-art deposit return machine to be brought to Parliament because we need the Government to introduce a DRS for bottles and cans as soon as possible so that more bottles and cans can be recycled.”
Chalk said: “A variety of ‘bottle-eating’ deposit machines are already in service around the world. We want to show ministers and MPs just how simple and effective they can be.
“UK consumers go through an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year and more than three billion are simply thrown away. So a bottle DRS to increase recycling rates has to be the way forward.”