September 16, 2010
CPRE urges refundable deposit on drinks bottles
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has published new research which it claims "clearly demonstrates that a drinks container deposit refund scheme covering plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans would cost little to set up, and would generate revenue to support most of its own running costs."
According to the CPRE, the scheme would help the UK government achieve a zero-waste economy by increasing recycling rates and reducing litter, as promised in the Coalition’s Programme for Government.
Have we got the bottle? Implementing a deposit refund scheme in the UK, prepared by Eunomia Research & Consulting, describes how the scheme could reduce costs to the public sector by £160m per year (or £7 per household), while securing significant benefits in reducing litter.
The report suggests that a deposit of 15p for containers smaller than 500ml and 30p for larger ones would generate a return rate around 90%, with the right implementation delivering environmental benefits well in excess of costs.
CPRE president, the writer Bill Bryson, said: “These findings throw rational and informed light on an issue that is nonsensically contentious in the UK. What sensible nation would not want to capture and recycle its precious and finite resources? What discerning people would not want to enjoy a litter-free environment?
“CPRE has published this research to reignite the debate, so that an effective mechanism which delivers environmental and social benefits in many other countries can be given its proper consideration in the UK.”