Anti-litter campaigners today (September 16) urged the Coalition to restore the deposit system on all drinks containers – glass and plastic bottles bottle and cans – to help cut the mountains of litter dumped in England.
In the years after World War II, drinks bottles carried a two penny deposit which was repaid when the bottle was returned to the seller. This gave young children the motive to scour our streets and country lanes and drastically cut the need for new bottles at a time when glass supplies were in scarce.
Today, bottles and drinks cans – often made from aluminium, which uses huge amounts of energy in its manufacturer – littler not just our urban streets but deface areas of natural beauty like the Yorkshire Dales and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is calling for a 30p deposit to be placed on containers of less than half a litre and 30p on anything bigger.
The campaign’s research suggests that such a scheme would save councils £180 million a year, making a major contribution to the new Government’s “zero waste” policy.
CPRE president Bill Bryson, a former Yorkshire Dales resident, commented: “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?