New scheme could ‘visibly slash’ number of plastic bottles littered in Fife

A Deposit Return Scheme is in the pipeline.
A Deposit Return Scheme is in the pipeline.

An estimated 852,000 plastic bottles are littered in Fife each year, but a new scheme encouraging people to recycle more and litter less could slash this number in future.

Figures published by Zero Waste Scotland reveal the scale of plastic bottle dumping in the Kingdom and how it will be reduced by Scotland’s forthcoming deposit return scheme.

The scheme will see shoppers pay a 20p deposit when buying drinks purchased in single-use plastic or glass bottles and aluminium or steel cans.

People will get their money back when they return their empty container for recycling.

The latest figures show Fifers go through 47.3 million plastic bottles every year, with an estimated 852,000 of them littered in the region.

Zero Waste Scotland anticipates a 90 per cent reduction in litter for the materials included in the scheme, resulting in nearly 767,000 fewer plastic bottles being dropped in Fife each year.

And with plastic bottles only one of the materials included, the overall impact on litter is expected to be even higher.

Jill Farrell, chief operating officer for the environmental body, said: “Our new figures reveal how Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme could visibly slash the number of littered plastic bottles in Fife.

“We all hate seeing empty bottles and cans littering our streets, green spaces and beaches.

“The great thing about Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme is it will give people a 20p incentive to do the right thing with their empty bottles – take them back for recycling, rather than risk them ending up on our streets or in our rivers.

“Litter isn’t just an eyesore – it also pollutes our environment and seas.

“And for every bottle littered, more plastic has to be created, generating more planet-damaging emissions.

“When you take back your empty bottles to be recycled, you’ll not just be getting your 20p back – you’ll be doing your bit in the fight against the climate emergency.”