Deposit return schemes: what’s taking so long?

Despite the evidence for the success of deposit refund schemes in cutting packaging litter, there is a baffling level of resistance to the idea from myriad – and often unexpected – parties, says Dominic Hogg

Dominic HoggDeposit refunds for beverage containers are making headlines, with support from the Scottish government, UK government environment secretary Michael Gove and Coca-Cola. The concept is simple: people buying a drink pay an up-front deposit at the point of purchase, which is refunded when the drinks container is returned. If the deposit is of a reasonable magnitude, and if the infrastructure for returning the containers is convenient, the return rate can be very high – rates in excess of 90% are reported in Norway and Germany.

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