The Norweigan government has introduced an innovative scheme to help tackle the problem of single-use plastic bottles.

It works like this: The consumer pays a deposit on every bottle - the equivalent of 10p to 25p depending on size. 

They return it empty and post it into a machine, which reads the barcode and produces a coupon for the deposit.

If the careless consumer has left liquid in the bottle, the machine eats it anyway - but hands the deposit to the shopkeeper who'll need to empty the bottle.

Similar schemes are in operation in other Nordic nations, Germany, and some states in the US and Canada.

Kjell Olav Maldum, chief executive of Infinitum, which runs the Norway bottle scheme, said: "There are other recycling schemes, but we believe ours is the most cost-efficient. 

We think it could be copied in the UK - or anywhere.

Our principle is that if drinks firms can get bottles to shops to sell their products, they can also collect those same bottles.

In Norway, small shopkeepers are said to generally favour the deposit return system. They get paid a small fee for each bottle and are also said to benefit from increased footfall from people returning bottles.