This blog is by the Have You Got the Bottle? campaign, and was first published on the Have You Got the Bottle? website.
Here at Have You Got The Bottle? we’re fighting for Scotland’s nature. We know about the negative impacts that litter has on wildlife; from insects and small mammals getting stuck inside bottles, to seabirds and creatures feeding plastic to their young. Evidence suggests that more than 140,000 bottles and cans are littered in Scotland every single day. That’s why we’re delighted that the Scottish Government have committed to introducing a deposit return system for most PET plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, and glass bottles before the end of this parliamentary session.
However, there’s increasing scientific evidence of the critical state of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats, and a deposit return system will only address a small part of the problem. That’s why we’re supporting Scottish Environment LINK’s Fight for Scotland’s Nature campaign. We want to see a Scottish Environment Act that protects Scotland’s wild places for the benefit of people and nature; one that gives clear ambitions for an environmental policy and a positive direction towards a more sustainable future for people and nature in Scotland.
Scottish Environment LINK has noted that while recent consultations on Environmental Principles and Governance have been a step in the right direction, there is much still to be done.
At Have You Got The Bottle? we’re particularly interested in ensuring that Scotland commits to the European Union’s environmental principles. The “polluter pays” principle is especially close to our hearts as it expresses the commonly accepted notion that those who produce pollution or environmental degradation should bear the costs of redressing it. This is exactly what happens in a well-run deposit return system, which is funded in part by a small producer fee for items placed in the system, and also through unredeemed deposits if the consumer chooses not to reclaim their money, thereby increasing the chance of their empties ending up as litter. This is a sound principle that can be applied in many other areas, and has already helped drive up the quality of our drinking water and beaches. Find out how you can support this important campaign at: https://www.