Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is organising a series of nationwide litter picks this month to clean up the countryside ahead of the introduction of a deposit return system being introduced in England.
CPRE will be taking its mobile reverse vending machine – which collects drinks containers of all materials and sizes – to various “Green Clean” litter picks being held across the country.
Participating volunteers will be able to dispose of, and receive 10p for, each of the drinks containers collected, helping people become accustomed to the way that a deposit system works.
It follows the announcement earlier this year when the UK government announced that it would be introducing a nationwide deposit return system for plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans. The introduction will help boost recycling rates and combat the plague of litter blighting the countryside.
Green Clean events will be taking place in Bankside (London), Graveney (Kent), Ashford (Kent) and Sheaf Walk (Sheffield), among others.
In many countries, reverse vending machines are already used by consumers to recycle used drinks containers and reclaim deposits, boosting recycling rates in those countries to as high as 97%.
Maddy Haughton-Boakes, litter campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “Our nationwide Green Clean will help ready the countryside for the introduction of a deposit return system, transforming it back to a beautiful, litter-free state. The reverse vending machine will give people a taste of what is to come, and highlight how financial incentives can help to boost recycling.
“We want to demonstrate that so long as the deposit system that the government introduces is designed to collect all drinks containers – of all materials and sizes – harmful litter could soon be a thing of the past.
“We want everyone across the country to get out and get involved. Through the collective effort of local people and communities, who either live in or simply love the countryside, we can banish bottles and cans from our fields, hedges and parks for good.”
As well as collecting litter, CPRE and its team of Green Cleaners will record the quantity and type of litter they find. CPRE will share this data with the Government, via its upcoming deposit return consultation, to make sure England gets the best-designed system.
The carrier bag charge has shown that people respond well to financial incentives, changing their behaviour accordingly. England’s deposit system will continue to encourage people to do the right thing.
To get involved in your local Green Clean, visit the CPRE website
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea