Return of the 'money back' bottle scheme

Some 30 years ago, there was a 'money back' bottle scheme in place that allowed children to collect pocket money on returning used drink bottles and meant that there were fewer discarded bottles littering the streets. It gave people an incentive to return their used bottles to the supplier and environmental campaigners today think it should be brought back into practice.

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) proposed reintroducing the scheme which would charge a deposit on all plastic and glass bottles bought. A 15p charge would be added to bottles containing under a litre and 30p to bottles over a litre.

When the used bottle is returned, the deposit will be refunded.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons yesterday that he supports the scheme.

He said: "I will certainly ask Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne to look at this and see if we can take it forward."

The CPRE's research indicated that the refundable deposit would lead to 90 per cent of bottles being returned after use and in this way would reduce litter and help the government reach their target of moving towards a 'zero waste' economy.

They also predicted that the savings made to the general public from the scheme would be about £7 for each household.

CPRE president and bestselling author Bill Bryson said: "These findings throw rational and informed light on an issue that is nonsensically contentious in the UK.

"What sensible nation would not want to capture and recycle its precious and finite resources? What discerning people would not want to enjoy a litter-free environment?

"We have published this research to reignite the debate, so that an effective mechanism which delivers environmental and social benefits in many other countries can be given its proper consideration in the UK."

What do you think? Would you return your bottles to retrieve your deposit? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.