The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has published new data on the types and sizes of drinks containers found littered in England. A team of volunteers from across the country found more than 11,000 bottles and cans of all shapes and sizes. Of these, 34% were plastic, 50% aluminium, and 15% glass. This highlights the need for a comprehensive deposit return system that includes all sizes of drinks containers made from all materials.
As Sam Harding of CPRE says, “by introducing a simple deposit system the Government has a golden opportunity to end growing scepticism around current recycling methods, collect and recycle more materials than ever right here in the UK, and ensure that those who produce the packaging rightly pay the full cost of recovering the materials that they produce. But it will only work if it is universal in the types of cans and bottles it accepts.
Deposit return infrastructure is the same for large plastic bottles as it would be for small plastic bottles, cans and glass – failing to set the system up to collect all that it can, will set the system up to fail. The Government is committed to tackling waste and boosting recycling and with this solution it has the chance to get things right.
In recent times, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer behaviour and attitudes – people genuinely want to take responsibility for the amount of packaging used. We all want recycling to work, but our data clearly shows that current collection methods are failing.”