Meacher seeks return of deposits on bottles

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The Independent Online

Thirty years after they vanished from British life, returnable soft drinks bottles could be about to make a comeback.

Thirty years after they vanished from British life, returnable soft drinks bottles could be about to make a comeback.

For decades, drinkers were given money back if they brought their empties back to shops. The deposits – usually the princely sum of an old penny or two – were traditionally used by youngsters keen for extra pocket money.

Adjusted for inflation, cash-conscious consumers could today receive at least 20p for every bottle they bring back. Deposit bottles fell victim to the rise of the throwaway society in the 1960s and 1970s.

But with concerns growing over the growing mountains of rubbish in Britain, the Government is considering providing incentives for manufacturers who set up deposit bottle schemes.

The Environment minister Michael Meacher said he had asked his officials to investigate the practicality of bringing back returnable bottles. "We have got to get the message across that you aren't buying a product just to use in its working life," he said.

However, a spokesman for the British Soft Drinks Association said the likely sums of deposit money involved and the hassle of returning bottles to shops was likely to deter most consumers.

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