MORE than 200,000 plastic bottles could be kept out of the environment in South Ayrshire thanks to a new scheme that will encourage people to recycle more and litter less.

Figures published by environmental body Zero Waste Scotland reveal the scale of plastic bottle dumping in South Ayrshire – and how it will be reduced by Scotland’s fo r thcoming dep o sit return scheme.

Under the scheme, shoppers will pay a 20p deposit when buying dr inks purchased in single-use plastic or glass bottles and aluminium or steel cans.

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

That 20p will give people an extra incentive to recycle their empty bottles and cans, and make people think twice about dropping them.

The new figures show that people in South Ayrshire go through close to 14.3 million plastic bottles every year. An estimated 257,000 plastic bottles are littered in South Ayrshire each year With a 20p incentive not t o t hrow away you rempties, Zero Waste Scotland anticipates a 90 per cent reduction in litter for the materials included in the scheme. This would mean 231,000 fewer plastic bottles dropped in South Ayrshire each year.

Jill Farrell, chief operating officer, Zero Waste Scotland said:“Our new figures reveal how Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme could visibly slash the number of littered plastic bottles in South Ayrshire.

“We all hate seeing empty bottles and cans littering our streets, green spaces and beaches. Thegreat thing about Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme is it will give people a 20p incentive to do the right thing.”

As well as PET plastic bottles (like most fizzy drinks and water bottles), steel and aluminium cans and glass bottles, all types of drinks in these containers and all containers between 50 ml and 3 litres in size will be included.

The Scottish Government is expected to introduce legislation to enable the scheme later this year.

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