"It's our future at stake"

Our advocate Kim, 18, tells us why young people want a deposit return scheme for plastic containers

Kim, Girlguiding advocate
25 June 2019

Our advocate Kim, 18, tells us why young people want a deposit return scheme for plastic containers.

Our planet is changing. The environment is facing its biggest threat of the modern age. And that threat is us. Landscapes and habitats are changing beyond recognition, affecting people and animals all over the world. 

We’re the ones harming our planet and only we can do something about it.

Plastic waste poses a threat to our environment, here in the UK and worldwide. It pollutes the natural world, both on land and in the oceans. We believe it’s time to take action.

What is a deposit return scheme?

When you buy a plastic bottle from the shops, you’d pay a little extra, but you get the money back when you return it.

This scheme boosts rates of recycling, while also raising awareness about the significance of recycling and plastic pollution. Many countries in Europe have already implemented successful deposit return schemes, so we know this works.

In Norway 97% of all plastic drink’s bottles are recycled, and 92% are turned back into drinks bottles!

Scotland is the first nation in the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme, with the intention of introducing it next year. But we think the entire UK should commit to introducing deposit return schemes.

It’s time the government listened to young people’s voices

We want to influence our governments and champion the voices of young people in the process. The need to reduce our carbon footprint, improve recycling rates and become an eco-friendlier world is a national issue. But for young people, it’s our future that’s at stake.

It’s time the government listened to our voices and to make sure we’re involved in the next steps to implement a deposit return scheme. Decision makers should speak to young people from all over the UK – in schools, university, and in work – to hear their concerns about the environment and their reactions to a deposit return scheme.

To be successful, the scheme needs to be supported by young people but for too long we’ve been overlooked.

Plastic pollution is an issue people are starting to care about more and more, and young people are at the front of this movement. Introducing a deposit return scheme would show a proactive response to plastic waste, and we believe young people will respond positively to it. 

What can you do to reduce plastic pollution?

To reduce plastic pollution, we need change from everyone. You don’t have to lead protests or make speeches to make a difference.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Recycle as much plastic as you can, checking the labels of packaging and local recycling regulations. Change at home goes a long way.
  • Spread awareness about the impact of plastic pollution and how our everyday lives contribute to the problem.
  • Learn as much as you can about the climate emergency.

Don’t underestimate your contributions, no matter how big or small. Every action counts.