Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Bottle deposits would deliver thousands of Green Jobs

Wednesday, 06 July 2011 17:27

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) today (Wednesday) launches new research demonstrating how well over 4,000 full time equivalent green jobs could be created by a UK deposit refund system (DRS) for drinks containers [1]. The findings are being presented by waste consultants Eunomia at the TUC Climate Change Conference: What makes a good green government?

The new report, ‘From waste to work: the potential of a deposit refund system to create jobs in the UK’ (http://bit.ly/lgGJFQ), found that as well as creating thousands of green jobs similar to current waste collection and processing occupations, a DRS would also generate between 353 to 393 higher-paid maintenance and engineering jobs and a further 100 office-based administrative positions needed to run the scheme. This central office could be situated anywhere in the UK and could be targeted towards an area with high unemployment.

Bill Bryson, CPRE President, says: “Politicians tell us that the economy of the future will be driven by green industry and create new green jobs. Well, this research shows how this can be done.”

Samantha Harding, CPRE Stop the Drop Campaign Manager, says: “In last month’s waste review, the Government failed to grasp the opportunity to introduce a UK DRS, saying they would concentrate on other ways to increase recycling and address litter [2].

“Yet we never hear what these ‘other ways’ are or how they would match the 90 per cent recycling rates deposits schemes could deliver in the UK. The Government seems unwilling to encourage producers to take responsibility for their products and in the meantime we have to pay nearly a billion pounds a year to have litter cleared up and sent to landfill [3].”

In September 2010 CPRE published a report on how a drinks container DRS would work in the UK, including how much it would cost to set up and run [4]. In March 2011 CPRE demonstrated, using a MORI poll, how a DRS could raise £432 million in voluntary donations annually for local charities and Big Society organisations [5]. Today, CPRE has shown how a DRS would deliver over 4,200 green jobs and help drive sustainable economic growth.

Bill Bryson concludes: “David Cameron told us he is interested in this idea and said in Parliament that his Government would look into how we could make it work, but I don’t think his message is getting through to his Cabinet colleagues [6]. CPRE has shown how a modern deposit system would work and the manifest benefits that would result. I can’t understand why this idea is not being pursued by Government Departments that are yet to put forward any other credible ideas or alternatives.”


Notes to Editors

[1] Campaign to Protect Rural England (July 2011), ‘From Waste to work: The potential of a deposit refund system to create jobs in the UK,’ research carried out by Eunomia: http://bit.ly/lgGJFQ

[2] DEFRA, Waste Review, 14 June 2011, page 34, http://bit.ly/lOOIlT

[3] Figure is taken from the Local Government Financial Statistics England No.21, DCLG (2011)

[4] Campaign to Protect Rural England (September 2010), ‘Have we got the Bottle? Implementing a deposit refund scheme in the UK,’ research carried out by Eunomia, is published on 16 September. http://bit.ly/kt36Kf

How a DRS would work:

The scheme proposed by CPRE works by including a small deposit for the cost of drinks containers (15p for containers smaller than 500ml and 30p for those larger). This deposit is then refunded to consumers when they return the container to a retailer or other designated collection point.

[5] CPRE Press Release, Recycled idea could provide £432 million for charities and the Big Society, 14 March 2011, http://bit.ly/ih6yrK

[6] PMQ question transcript, 12.20 15 September 2010:

Martin Horwood MP: “Like the last government, we have promised to act on litter that defaces our town and countryside. Unlike the last government, will we take some real practical action like a bottle deposit and refund scheme that a CPRE report launched today shows will protect the environment and save local authorities millions of pounds. “

PM David Cameron: “My honourable friend makes a very interesting suggestion. Bill Bryson has made this suggestion to me as well because of the success schemes like this have had in other countries. I will certainly ask his honourable friend the Climate Change and Environment Secretary to look at this issue and see if we can take it forward.”

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