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December 17, 2008

Packaging News UK

Deposits could increase material collection, says government

Reverse deposit systems for packaging have been placed under the spotlight again after a government feasibility study found that a 10p returnable deposit would increase material collection.

Defra commissioned Environmental Resources Management to compile the report, following a renewed interest in deposit schemes and reverse vending as a collection method for beverage containers.

Beverage deposit systems require consumers to pay an additional fee to the retailer, which is then reimbursed when the consumer returns the empty packaging.

The report found that deposit systems would increase total tonnage of materials collected, but a significant amount of deposited packaging would be "cannibalised" from existing collection schemes.

However, it was agreed that a deposit scheme might aid in the collection of "hard to reach materials" found in "on-the-go" food and drink packaging.

The report closely follows the publication of a poll by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which revealed that four in five people polled would support a 10p deposit scheme.

CPRE president Bill Bryson said the Ipsos Mori poll proves that a scheme would be well supported and so "now is the time for the government to take action".

Ben Stafford, head of campaigns at the CPRE highlighted the case of Irn Bru in Scotland, which is still sold in refundable glass bottles, 70% of which are returned.

Every glass bottle that is returned is cleaned, refilled and sold around five times during its life.

"A deposit of 10p a bottle could see UK householders recovering £125m at Christmas time alone," Stafford concluded.


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