We're so close to making littered bottles and cans in our countryside a thing of the past

Support our final push for an all-inclusive deposit return system in England.

After ten years of hard work, we’ve persuaded the government to commit to a deposit return system for drinks containers in England.

It’s a simple concept – but it has the potential to make a significant and lasting difference to the growing litter problem in our countryside. With a deposit return system, we pay a small charge on top of the cost of any bottle or can that we buy, to be refunded when we return it empty – incentivising recycling over littering.

But an all-inclusive deposit return system is not yet a done deal.

Over the next few months, the government are consulting on how, exactly, a deposit return system will work in England – and there’s still a lot at stake.

The powerful drinks industry is already pushing back.

Drinks companies and large retailers will foot the bill for the new system, which will finally make them take end-to-end responsibility for the packaging they produce. Of course, they don’t want to pay – they’d rather the taxpayer continues to pick up the clean-up costs.

So they’re lobbying hard against a scheme that covers all bottles and cans and seeking a watered-down system that will enable them to ‘opt out’ by producing odd bottle sizes or materials that aren’t covered. If successful, they’ll be able to avoid taking part in the system – or paying for it - and the problem of littered drinks containers continues.

To avoid this, we must secure a deposit return system for England that covers ALL bottles and cans. Anything less and littered drinks containers will continue to blight our countryside, coastlines and parks for years to come.

With your support, we can build the strongest case possible for the very best deposit return system in our consultation response, our public campaigning and our political influencing: one that can’t be gamed by big business, at the expense of our countryside.

We’re on the verge of a historic victory for the countryside – please will you help us win?

Together, we can seize this incredible opportunity to make littered bottles and cans in our countryside a thing of the past – and make it even more beautiful for all of us to enjoy, now and in the future.

Image © Nik Stanbridge/Flickr 

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All evidence points to a deposit return system being a game-changer in the campaign against litter in our countryside.

The results from around the world speak for themselves. There are successful deposit return systems already operating in Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Australia – so why not here?


Too many of the millions of bottles and cans sold daily end up as litter, blighting our countryside, towns, cities and waterways.

The 5p plastic bag charge that CPRE campaigned for has led to a decline in plastic bag usage of more than 85%, showing that financial incentives can change behaviour - we now need to do the same for drinks containers.


By making drinks companies responsible for the packaging they produce, the financial burden of clearing up drinks container litter will be lifted from local councils – and in turn us, as taxpayers.

The savings will be free to be used elsewhere, for the benefit of us all.


Please donate today to help end the blight of littered bottles and cans in our countryside.

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