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Anti-litter campaigners call for deposit scheme

Published 1st October, 2010 by Neil Nixon

Anti-litter campaigners call for deposit scheme

Making consumers pay a refundable deposit for plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans would increase recycling rates and reduce litter, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has claimed. nbsp;

Under its proposed deposit refund scheme, anyone buying a small container would pay a 15p deposit, with a 30p deposit for larger capacity items, which would then be refunded when the container is returned to a shop or collection point.

The CPRE’s report, entitled ‘Have we got the bottle?’ , suggests revenues from the scheme would go a long way to covering its operational costs. The report also states that the initiative would save local authorities £160 million per year in waste management costs, as return rates are predicted to rise to up to 90%.

Mark Woodhead, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, said: "Britain produces 434 million tonnes of waste each year, and we waste over £650 million annually by dumping and incinerating waste that could otherwise be recycled. Recent figures from one of our member associations, Keep Britain Tidy, also revealed that local authorities in England spend more than £858 million a year cleaning the litter from our streets. In these austere times, this is a very serious problem and the year-on-year increase in the cost of clearing up this mess is unsustainable. We need to look at all the ways in which we can address the blight of litter, and this report makes a strong case that a deposit refund scheme is a viable means to achieving this goal.”

Bottle deposits were commonplace in the UK in the 1980s but fell out of favour when plastic bottles and cans became cheaper and more prevalent. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it welcomed the report and would consider the proposals as part of its ongoing policy review.

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