A billion! How much DRS could benefit local charities

CPRE has long campaigned for a DRS: here’s its reverse vending machine

One in five people using a UK-wide deposit return system would donate the deposits they had paid on drinks cans and bottles to charity all the time, producing potential annual donations of more than £1 billion to good causes.
The results came from a survey carried out by ICM Unlimited and published by CPRE on Monday (May 27).
A further 19 per cent of respondents said they would donate their deposits most of the time, and more than a third (34 per cent) would donate at least some of the time.
This could lead to a further £1.3 billion in donations to local charitable causes from the deposits on glass and plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans, the CPRE analysis found.
The donations could be even higher if drinks cartons and pouches were also included in England’s deposit system – something Environment Secretary Michael Gove is considering.
CPRE states that by including an option for the public to donate their deposits – something that is part of most other deposit systems around the world – we could build on the huge success of the carrier-bag charge, which, as well as reducing plastic bag usage by more than 80 per cent, raised £66 million for good causes in 2016-17.
Samantha Harding, CPRE’s litter programme director, said: “Not only would the introduction of a UK-wide deposit return system put a stop to most of the environmental damage caused by drinks containers and boost recycling rates in excess of 90 per cent, it could also provide much-needed funding for good causes across the country.
“It is fantastic and really heartening that so many people would be happy to donate their deposits in this way.
“An effective ‘all-in’ deposit return system will bring an end to the growing disenchantment and scepticism around current recycling methods by doubling current recycling rates.
“But it’s also evident that the deposit, as well as encouraging the right behaviour in terms of recycling, would allow for people’s generous natures to be realised when it comes to supporting others.
‘It’s important to ensure that England’s scheme includes every bottle, can, carton and pouch, whatever the shape, size or material.
“Not only will this halt the devastation caused to our countryside and environment by drinks container pollution, but if every type of drinks packaging is included in the scheme, it could result in more donated deposits, benefiting nature and local communities.”
In the UK, it is estimated that 28 billion single-use glass, plastic and aluminium drinks bottles and cans are sold every year in the UK, according to recent government figures.
Due to ineffective waste collection and recycling systems, overall recycling rates in the UK have stagnated at about 45 per cent. This results in a large number of drinks containers either left polluting the countryside, waterways and streets or being sent for incineration or buried in landfill, rather than recycled.
Through its monetary incentive, an effective UK-wide deposit return system has the potential to boost recycling rates for drinks containers to more than 90 per cent.
CPRE is highlighting that this would significantly reduce the environmental damage they cause, as well as ensuring that the producers of drinks packaging become financially responsible for the full costs of the waste they create.
Earlier this month, the Scottish government announced its plans to introduce a deposit return system for glass, plastic and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes.
CPRE is calling for the UK government to build on Scotland’s ambition by introducing a fully comprehensive ‘all-in’ system, including all drinks containers of all sizes and materials, to make sure that England gets the most effective and economically viable deposit system in the world.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Brilliant! CPRE campaign for deposit return scheme is going ahead

We should be seeing a lot fewer of these lying around our countryside

CPRE’s campaign for a deposit return scheme on drinks bottles and cans has finally won the day.
Environment secretary Michael Gove announced yesterday (Tuesday, March 27) that we will all pay a deposit of up to 22 pence on plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans. This deposit can of course be reclaimed.
CPRE has campaigned for the introduction of a deposit return system (DRS) in England for 10 years and is obviously thrilled with Mr Gove’s announcement.
It is a watershed moment for recycling in the UK, given that similar systems around the world produce excellent results.
The decision follows a call for evidence in October last year that investigated how littering with drinks containers could be cut and the recycling of them increased.
The evidence submitted was examined by retail giants such as Coca-Cola and Tesco, alongside other members of the Voluntary and Economic Incentives Working Group, for which CPRE provided the secretariat.
There has been increasing pressure from environmental groups, the media and the public for more action to be taken against the tide of waste polluting our environment, with single-use drinks containers being a huge contributor.
The new DRS for England, which follows the Scottish government’s announcement last year that it would be introducing a similar scheme, will be consulted upon this year. It is not yet apparent whether all retailers of single-use drinks will have to participate.
Samantha Harding, CPRE’s litter programme director, said: “This is a brilliant and significant decision by Michael Gove.
“I am thrilled that we will finally see the many benefits a deposit system will bring to England, not least the absence of ugly drinks containers in our beautiful countryside.
“What’s significant is that producers will now pay the full costs of their packaging, reducing the burden on the taxpayer and setting a strong precedent for other schemes where the polluter pays. This really is a bold and exciting step by the government.”
Bill Bryson, author and former CPRE president, said: “I wholeheartedly congratulate Michael Gove for his wisdom in finally accepting the case for a deposit return system in the UK – I never thought I would see this in my lifetime.
“Future generations will look back on this decision as a piece of supremely enlightened policy-making, and one that raises the prospect of the world’s most beautiful country becoming free from drinks-container litter at last.
“My most profound gratitude goes to the tireless campaigners and heroic litter-pickers of CPRE who, for the past decade, have kept the issue alive in the minds of our politicians, press and public.”
Emma Bridgewater, president of CPRE, added: “This landmark announcement is the breakthrough we have been waiting for.
“CPRE have been campaigning for the introduction of a DRS for almost 10 years – it has been a long battle, but this significant victory is an enormous leap forward in the war against waste.
“Our countryside, oceans and wildlife have long been the victim of our obsession with single-use bottles and cans, with the UK producing billions of them year after year.
“Many end up damaging our natural environments and killing our wildlife – and it is also a shocking waste of valuable materials. The proven success of DRS in other countries means that now most of these bottles and cans will be captured and recycled – we congratulate the government on their decision.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018