Almost three-quarters (72%) of people would support a deposit return system for plastic and glass drinks bottles and aluminium cans being rolled out across the whole of the UK, according to a new survey published yesterday (27 July) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
The survey results, demonstrating high levels of public support, have been published following an announcement made last week by the former Environment Secretary Michael Gove, in which he gave his backing to an ‘all-in’ deposit return system that includes all drinks containers of all materials and sizes.
In his speech, Mr Gove said that he believed ‘an ‘all-in’ model will give consumers the greatest possible incentive to recycle’.
CPRE welcomed the announcement made by Mr Gove and states that these survey results are a clear indication that the public will support the scheme, once introduced.
‘It’s absolutely fantastic that so many people have shown such high levels of support for the scheme before it’s even been introduced. A deposit return system will transform the way we deal with waste, boost recycling and, as a result, finally put a stop to the harm that drinks containers are causing our countryside, environment and wildlife.
‘With Michael Gove having thrown his weight behind a truly ‘all-in’ deposit return system, and with the Scottish government’s decision to introduce one earlier this year, this latest wave of public support is surely all the evidence needed for the government to get this over the line.
‘We urge the Theresa Villiers to hit the ground running in her new role as Environment Secretary. She must make a swift and formal commitment to introduce the most effective system in the world – one that includes every single drinks bottle, can, carton or pouch of every size and material – and not give in to attempts to water down the system for vested corporate interests.’
Litter Campaigner at CPRE
The countryside charity is eager to see the new Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, builds on the work of her predecessor and turns these warm words into a formal commitment from the government to introduce a deposit return system that would put a stop to the environmental damage caused by drinks containers.
Countries that already have effective deposit return systems in place, such as Norway, achieve recycling rates for this type of waste as high as 95%. In the UK, overall recycling has plateaued at around 45%.
The Scottish government has already committed to introduce a deposit system for glass, plastic, steel and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes.
One-third of people (33%) surveyed believe that the UK-wide system should be just as comprehensive as the one committed to in Scotland, and 39% of people believe that the UK-wide system should include more materials, such as drinks cartons and pouches.
Earlier this month, CPRE reported that an ‘all-in’ deposit return system could generate £2 billion for the economy over 10 years, as detailed in the government’s own impact assessment.
This economic boost would come from a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill, fewer littered drinks containers and less of their associated cleanup costs, reduced air and water pollution and a reduction in carbon emissions caused by the extraction and production of raw materials needed to produce new drinks containers.
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