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Calls for return of bottle deposit schemes

October 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), of which travel writer Bill Bryson is the president, has called for a reintroduction of the old-fashioned bottle deposit scheme to cut back on litter and increase recycling levels. It would involve consumers paying a deposit for glass and plastic bottles and cans to encourage them to take their containers back for recycling.

David Cameron has already said that the government will look into the proposed scheme to see how feasible it could be.

The scheme would involve customers paying a 15p deposit for containers smaller than 500ml, and 30p for larger containers. The deposit would then be returned to them when they take the empty bottle back to be recycled. The CPRE has predicted that, if successful, it could see a 90% return rate.

The idea forms part of the CPRE’s ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign, which is campaigning against littering and fly tipping. Bryson commented on the findings by asking “what sensible nation would not want to capture and recycle its precious and finite resources?”

The report suggests that the scheme would cost £84m to set up, but could save £160m a year for local authorities in their waste management costs.

As expected, drinks manufacturers are opposed to the idea, as they would be expected to foot some of the bill for the scheme. Bob Gordon, from the British Retail Consortium, dismissed the proposal as “rosy-eyed nostalgia” that would be an “expensive waste” to set up because “bottles and cans are not the issue”, highlighting rigid plastics as the key area for increasing recycling rates.

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One response to “Calls for return of bottle deposit schemes”

  1. c94 says:

    I think this would be a great idea but as well as SAVING raw materials there is a LOT of energy used in recycling therefore a lot of pollution and lots of fossil fuels being used up. Recycling is the way forward i think, but we need renewable energy too to make it sustainable 😉

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