Deposit return system

Drinks containers are a blight on our beaches - MCS surveys show that drinks containers such as plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans are frequently among the top 20 litter items found on UK beaches and our surveys indicate that these items have increased by 4% since 2015.

How would it work?

For every drink container you bought, you would pay a small deposit. When you return the drinks container to the retailer or supermarket- you would get this back. Simple!

Does it work?

Such systems can reduce littering, increase high quality recycling, and reduce costs for local authorities. Like the carrier bag charge, it’s a simple idea that can have an immediate effect.

Deposit Return Systems (DRS) already work well in over 40 countries or states worldwide including parts of Australia, Norway, Lithuania and some US states. In south Australia which has a DRS only 2.9% of litter is beverage containers. In Western Australia with no DRS drinks containers make up 13% of litter.

What’s happening here?

There’s strong support for DRS in Scotland with 78% of people in Scotland being in favour of a DRS and the Scottish Government have commissioned a study to design a system that would work for Scotland. Michael Gove the Current Secretary of State for the Environment has also indicated his support for DRS.

We hope you’ll show your support for similar schemes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You won’t be out of pocket and it’s an easy way to help the environment!

Actions you can take

  1. Report your #wildbottlesighting using our form
  2. Join the Plastic Challange
  3. Survey showing public support
  4. Take your own reusable bottle out and about
  5. See our map of reported bottle sightings

Did you know?…

Over time, one plastic bottle bobbing along in the ocean can break down in to hundreds of tiny plastic pieces

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