The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has claimed that the introduction of a deposit return system will end growing scepticism around existing recycling methods.
A deposit return system is claimed to deliver better levels of recyclable waste collection, as well as increase the quantity of low contamination, high quality materials collected for recycling.
The organization held 35 litter picks throughout September as part of its nationwide ‘Green Clean’ campaign with volunteers collecting 11,212 cans and bottles of all shapes, sizes and materials.
Over a third (35%) of those collected were made from plastic, 50% were aluminium, 14% glass and 1% Tetra Pak.
CPRE said while plastic packaging has been making the headlines, the data shows that two-thirds of all drinks containers littered are made from other materials like aluminium and glass and should be taken just as seriously.
Of the plastics, 10% were small bottles (below 500ml), 71% were medium sized (500ml – average water bottle), 10% were large (501ml-1.5l), and 9% were considered extra-large (more than 1.5l).
The organization said the evidence shows that there is no limit to the types and sizes of cans and bottles that are causing harm to wildlife and natural world.
According to the CPRE, the findings should provide the incentive for the Government to make the right decision and ensure that all cans and bottles, of all types and sizes, are included in England’s deposit return system.
CPRE litter program director Samantha Harding said: “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.”
In March 2018, the UK Government pledged to introduce a deposit return scheme in England for single use drinks containers, subject to consultation later this year.
However, an agreement within the drinks and packaging industries on the system is yet to be signed on the type and size of containers that should be included.