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Cash for trash

Through CPRE’s ‘Green Clean’, litter pickers can get money for bottles and cans collected from the countryside
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Cash for trash

Throughout September, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is organising a series of nationwide litter picks to clean up the countryside ahead of the introduction of a deposit return scheme.

CPRE will be taking its mobile reverse vending machine – which collects drinks containers of all materials and sizes – to various ‘Green Clean’ litter picks being held across the country.

Participating volunteers will receive 10p for each of the drinks containers collected, helping people get accustomed to the way a deposit system works ahead of the introduction of a deposit return scheme (DRS) in England.

Will litter become a thing of the past?

In many countries, reverse vending machines are already used by consumers to recycle used drinks containers and reclaim deposits. The scheme has boosted recycling rates in some countries to 97%.

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, litter campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the nationwide Green Clean ‘will help ready the countryside for the introduction of a deposit return system’, and that the reverse vending machine ‘will give people a taste of what is to come’, highlighting how financial incentives can help to boost recycling.

‘We want to demonstrate that so long as the deposit system that the government introduces is designed to collect all drinks containers – of all materials and sizes – harmful litter could soon be a thing of the past’, Maddy added.

‘We want everyone across the country to get out and get involved. Through the collective effort of local people and communities, who either live in or simply love the countryside, we can banish bottles and cans from our fields, hedges and parks for good.’

Litter campaigner at CPRE

Responding to financial incentives

After 10 years of campaigning, the announcement earlier this year that England is to have a deposit return scheme was a huge win for CPRE in its fight against littered bottles and cans in the countryside.

As well as collecting litter, CPRE and its team of Green Cleaners will record the quantity and type of litter they find. CPRE will share this data with the government, via its upcoming deposit return consultation, to make sure England gets the best-designed system.

The carrier bag charge has shown that people respond well to financial incentives, changing their behaviour accordingly. England’s deposit system will continue to encourage people to do the right thing.

CPRE's mobile reverse vending machine
CPRE’s mobile reverse vending machine will tour the countryside for the Green Clean

Green Clean locations

08 Sept: Belton, Northern Lincolnshire

11 Sept: Bankside, London

13 Sept: Dorchester Library, Dorset

15 Sept: Barton Upon Humber, Northern Lincolnshire

16 Sept: Throckley, Northumberland

22 Sept: Telford Town Park, Shropshire; Haxey, Northern Lincolnshire

23 Sept: Bow Backs River, London; River Sow, Stafford; Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough

25 Sept: Ferry Meadows, Peterborough; Searjeant Street, Peterborough

26 Sept: Bankside, London

29 Sept: Graveney, Kent; Samlesbury Memorial Hall, Lancashire; Sheaf Walk, Sheffield

30 Sept: Perry Woods, Selling, Kent; Ferry Meadows, Peterborough; Stratford, Warwickshire

Click here to read more about the case for a DRS.

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