Copenhagen could launch refundable deposit scheme for pizza boxes to cut down on rubbish

Council spends about £21m cleaning the city's streets every year

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 13 April 2016 19:41
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Not so picturesque: 90 tonnes of rubbish has been pulled from Copenhagen harbour since the beginning of March
Not so picturesque: 90 tonnes of rubbish has been pulled from Copenhagen harbour since the beginning of March

Copenhagen is considering a new scheme where people buying pizza, cigarettes and fast food will have to pay a refundable deposit for the packaging in a bid to tackle the city’s rubbish problem.

The scheme will mean people will pay an extra kroner (around 10p) for the packaging in fast food chains, shops and restaurants, which will be given back when the customer returns with it.

Following a trial of “deposit shelves” around Copenhagen for people to leave waste, the amount of rubbish left lying around the city has fallen by 49 per cent, The Local reports.

Despite its green reputation, the city government is forced to spend 200m kroner (about £21.3m) every year to tidy up litter, the deputy mayor for environmental affairs, Morten Kabell, told Danish newspaper Politiken.

“If we can bring down the amount of rubbish out there it would mean that we could free up the money for something more fun than cleaning," he said.

The idea was reportedly inspired by a similar successful scheme which has reduced the number of dropped bottles and cans.

It comes after the annual trawl of Copenhagen Harbour has netted 90 tonnes of rubbish since March.

Gert Hjemsted Kondrup, who was in charge of the clean-up, said there had “a slight increase in lighter rubbish, which we sail around and remove from the harbour on a daily basis”.

He told the Copenhagen Post: “Judging by the number of pizza boxes and beer cups, the waterfront is being used more than before.”

The plan will need to be approved by the national Ministry of the Interior before city officials can begin work.

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