Belfast Telegraph

Supermarkets 'thwarting bottle deposit return plan'

By Josie Clarke

The head of a leading marine charity has written to bosses of 10 UK supermarkets urging them not to derail an 'all-in' deposit return scheme for bottles and cans.

Marine Conservation Society (MCS) chief executive Sandy Luk warned the retail chiefs that some companies and manufacturers seemed keen to thwart the introduction of a comprehensive scheme.

She wrote: "It is regrettable that elements in industry with vested interests seem intent on making up as many excuses as possible to resist a scheme which will remove and recycle the largest numbers of containers.

"Lobbying behind the scenes must not be allowed to derail the most ambitious and comprehensive scheme from being introduced."

The MCS said retailers must back the introduction of a money-back recycling system for consumers that includes all sizes and materials of containers, that is run as a not-for-profit system and is consistent across the UK.

It warned that anything less would fail to result in less litter and plastic poisoning marine wildlife and polluting waterways.

Dragons' Den star Deborah Meaden, who backed the scheme, said: "Gone are the days when we can ignore the fact that we are having a pretty devastating impact on our planet.

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"We can't complain about rubbish, or those awful images of dying humpback whales with plastic in their stomachs, and do nothing.

"It's one thing to not know and not do something about it, but to know what you are doing and not do something about it is criminal.

"I believe that consumers will look into it because you only have to do things a few times before it becomes a habit and way of life."

The Government is consulting over an all-in scheme or an alternative 'on-the-go' option for containers less than 750ml in size.

Under a deposit return scheme, a sum will be added to the price of drinks at purchase and refunded when consumers return their empty containers.

Belfast Telegraph