Headlines: December 17th, 2008

A new survey has revealed overwhelming public support for a return to the system of charging deposits on bottled products as a way of reducing the cost of cleaning up litter dropped in the street. The Ipsos MORI poll for the Campaign to Protect Rural England found eight out of ten people backed the idea.

The results show that 82 per cent of respondents supported the idea of at least five pence being included in the price of every drink container. Eighty per cent of people said they would support a ten pence deposit. The poll results have been released as the Government publishes its own research into the case for container deposit schemes in the UK.

The CPRE President, Bill Bryson, said, ‘We asked Government to consider a review of bottle deposit systems earlier this year, and we know Ministers will be looking at the results as part of their strategic review on packaging. This public poll proves that such a scheme would have huge support, so we say that now is the time for the Government to take action. He said there was evidence from other countries that deposit schemes worked well. In America eleven states have the schemes and in the case of New York State the scheme has delivered redemption rates of between 65 and 80 per cent. In South Australia return rates run at 74 per cent for plastic bottles and 86 to 92 per cent for cans.

Ben Stafford, the Head of Campaigns at CPRE , said, “A deposit of 10 pence a bottle could see UK householders recovering 125 million pounds at Christmas time alone. With the UK only recycling 35 per cent of the 13 billion plastic bottles we use each year we feel sure a deposit scheme will have a real impact, help to keep the streets cleaner and reduce the annual 500 million pound litter clean-up bill that we all have to pay.”