Charities could receive £1bn a year from UK deposit return scheme

Charities could receive £1bn a year if there was an option to donate deposits shoppers pay on drinks to charitable causes.

These are the findings of a Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) survey, which revealed one in five people (20%) using a UK-wide deposit return system would donate deposits they’d paid on drinks cans and bottles to charity ‘all of the time.’

A further 19% said they would donate their deposits most of the time, and more than a third (34%) would donate at least some of the time.

This could lead to a further £1.3bn in donations to local charitable causes from the deposits on glass and plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans, they claim.

The CPRE also believes that donations could be even higher if drinks cartons and pouches are also included in England’s deposit system, something which Environment Secretary Michael Gove is currently considering.

Earlier this month the Scottish government announced its plans to introduce a deposit-return system for glass, plastic and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes, and an England deposit-return scheme consultation is currently underway.

CPRE is calling for the UK government to build on Scotland’s ambition by introducing a fully comprehensive ‘all-in’ system, including all drinks containers of all sizes and materials.

Samantha Harding, litter programme director at CPRE, said: ‘Not only would the introduction of a UK-wide deposit return system put a stop to most of the environmental damage caused by drinks containers and boost recycling rates in excess of 90%, it could also provide much-needed funding for good causes across the country.

‘It is fantastic and really heartening that so many people would be happy to donate their deposits in this way.

‘It’s important to ensure that England’s scheme includes every bottle, can, carton and pouch, whatever the shape, size or material.

‘Not only will this halt the devastation caused to our countryside and environment by drinks container pollution, but if every type of drinks packaging is included in the scheme, it could result in more donated deposits, benefiting nature and local communities.’


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