New scheme is hoped will help with littering

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As many as 378,000 plastic bottles could be kept out of the environment in West Lothian thanks to a pioneering 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 West Lothian – and how it will be reduced by Scotland’s forthcoming deposit return scheme.

Under the scheme, shoppers will 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 for recycling.

It is hoped that the 20p charge will give people an extra incentive to recycle their empty bottles and cans, and make people think twice about dropping them.

The figures show that people in West Lothian go through 23.3 million plastic bottles every year. An estimated 420,000 are left lying in the area each year

With a 20p incentive not to throw away your empties, Zero Waste Scotland anticipates a 90 per cent reduction in litter. This would mean 378,000 fewer plastic bottles dropped in West Lothian each year.

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

Jill Farrell from Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Our new figures reveal how Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme could visibly slash the number of littered plastic bottles in West Lothian.”