Charities could rake in a £2 BILLION windfall from 20p deposit scheme for plastic bottles

A 20p deposit scheme on plastic bottles and cans could deliver a windfall of more than £2billion to charities and good causes, campaigners said last night.

Shoppers would be given a refund when they return bottles and cans – and would have the option to ask retailers to give it to charity.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England said this could provide a cash lifeline to community groups involved in tackling litter – and boost funds for sport, health, education and the arts.

A survey for the CPRE found 20 per cent of people would donate deposit refunds to good causes, adding up to £1billion. A further 53 per cent would donate some or most of the time, which could lead to a further £1.3billion.

The idea of using a tariff system to tackle plastic waste and pollution while supporting good causes was a huge success with the introduction of the 5p charge on single-use carrier bags in 2015.

The scheme, which followed the Daily Mail’s Banish The Bags campaign, has raised more than £150million for good causes while cutting the number handed out at the tills by 6.6billion a year – 86 per cent.

This month the Scottish Government announced plans for a 20p deposit on all drinks bottles and cans; Westminster MPs are under pressure to match this.

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It is estimated that 28billion single-use drinks bottles and cans are sold every year in the UK. Overall recycling rates have stagnated at around 45 per cent due to ineffective waste collection and recycling systems.

The introduction of deposit schemes some in countries has boosted recycling rates to over 90 per cent. Many schemes include an option to donate refunds to charity.

Samantha Harding, of the CPRE, said: ‘An effective “all-in” deposit return system will bring an end to growing disenchantment and scepticism around current recycling methods by doubling recycling rates.’

She said it would also ‘allow for people’s generous natures to be realised when it comes to supporting others’.

‘Flush‘ wipes don‘t flush 

Stores have been accused of misleading shoppers by selling ‘flushable’ wet wipes that clog up sewers and pollute the environment.

Water companies face huge costs to clear the blockages and tackle pollution. They have developed a ‘Fine to Flush’ standard and logo to identify wipes that genuinely can be put down the toilet.

The Marine Conservation Society said Aldi, Asda, Boots, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Tesco, Waitrose, and Wilko are all selling own-brand wet wipes which do not meet the new standard.

Laura Foster, of MCS, said: ‘It is totally unacceptable that they are selling something which can potentially contribute to blockages. Any wet wipe without the Fine to Flush logo should be placed in the bin.’