‘All-in’ deposit return scheme eight times more economical than limited one

An ‘all-in’ deposit return scheme for every plastic or glass drink bottle and can would provide eight times more economic benefit than a watered-down system.


That is according to research by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which forecasts an all-in deposit scheme to boost the economy by £2bn over 10 years.

This compares to the £250m that would be generated from an ‘on-the-go’ scheme that collects far fewer drink containers. Both systems are currently under consideration.

Cost savings are expected through a reduction in waste sent to landfill and litter, less air and water pollution, and fewer carbon emissions caused by producing new containers.

“The government has an opportunity to ensure England gets the most effective and economically viable deposit system in the world," CPRE litter campaigner, Maddy Haughton-Boakes, said.

"A failure to ensure that all drinks containers are included in the scheme would be a clear sign that they were putting the profits of vested interests above the benefits to society, the economy, our countryside and environment."

The research is based on UK government’s own impact assessment for a deposit return scheme, and shows that such a system could boost recycling rates for drinks containers to more than 90%.

It would also make the producers of drink containers and packaging financially responsible for the full collection and clean-up costs of the waste that they produce.

This comes after the Scottish government announced earlier this year that it plans to introduce a deposit return system for glass, plastic, steel and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes.

The CPRE has called on the UK government to go further than Scotland and introduce a scheme for drinks containers of all sizes and materials – including cartons and pouches.

“Taking us towards a circular economy, we will recycle almost all of the drinks cans and bottles we consume, slow down the depletion of scarce resources and reduce carbon emissions, all of which will have a lasting positive impact for our countryside and environment,” Haughton-Boakes added. 


Image credit | iStock

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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