CPRE call for bottle deposit scheme

Consumers could be paid for recycling their plastic bottles under a scheme proposed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

An extra 10 pence would be added to the cost of goods such as drinks which would be returned to the consumer after the bottle is taken to collection points.

The organisation is lobbying for the bottle deposit system as part of its three-year Stop the Drop campaign against litter and fly-tipping, which was launched by CPRE president and author Bill Bryson last week.

UK households use an average of 500 plastic bottles a year, and just 130 of these are recycled while the rest head for landfill or end up littering towns and countryside.

Earlier this year, an annual survey of local authorities by litter watchdog Encams revealed that average performance on cleaning up litter has slipped from satisfactory to unsatisfactory.

Stop the Drop campaigner Mardi MacGregor told edie: “No local authority is rated good, which is very disappointing, given that it’s a statutory requirement.”

Local authorities are also failing to punish offenders, despite being given powers to fine people for littering and fly-tipping, the CPRE said.

Mr Bryson said: “The total sum of fines for littering collected nationally last year was just slightly over £1.5m – or about one-fifteenth of what the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea collects annually in parking fines.

“Of the 43,624 fines levied, only 26,818 were actually paid. And 72 out of 354 local authorities issued no penalties at all.”

CPRE is calling for Government to set local authorities targets for clearing up litter and encourage them to punish offenders.

Miss MacGregor said: “From talking to local authorities they are actually quite supportive of our campaign.

“They find at the moment that they do not have the resources and litter is not a Government target so at the moment money is being diverted to other targets.”

The organisation is also encouraging people to support its campaign by complaining to their local authority about litter.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie