Michael Gove

Defra secretary Michael Gove called on the government to introduce a DRS  “as soon as possible”

Westminster is to reopen an inquiry into the environmental impact of waste from plastic bottles and disposable coffee cups, amid pressure to follow Scotland’s lead in introducing a new deposit return scheme.

The relaunch of the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry comes less than two weeks after the Scottish government nailed its colours to the mast of a DRS system, despite being yet to carry out a consultation on the proposals.

The Westminster inquiry will investigate methods potential solutions to the UK’s waste problem, including a DRS. Last year, figures compiled from the Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection survey found only a third of plastic packaging in consumer products was recycled annually,

Theresa May has previously ruled out the introduction of a DRS but in July, new Defra secretary Michael Gove called on the government to introduce one “as soon as possible”.

Committee chair Mary Creagh said: “The nature of our throwaway society can be seen first-hand on our litter-strewn beaches and in the dead mammals, sea birds and fish that wash up on them.

“Our inquiry will focus on the solutions to this problem, including using different materials, changing behaviours, improving our recycling methods and the establishment of bottle deposit return schemes.”