Campaign to Protect Rural England this morning welcomed news that major drinks multi-national Coca-Cola has changed its global position on deposit return systems, with an announcement that the company will support a deposit return system in Scotland. The decision comes after the soft drinks giant took a fresh look at the evidence and agreed that only a deposit system for drinks containers can deliver the step-change in recycling and litter reduction that is needed.
Samantha Harding, CPRE Litter Programme Director, says:
‘This is fantastic and heartening news. It’s admirable that Coca-Cola has been bold enough to change its position after seeing the benefits of deposit return. Our hope is that such positive progress in Scotland will encourage England’s ministers to follow the success of the carrier bag scheme with the best solution for drinks litter – a deposit return system.’
Coca-Cola’s internal policy was recently revealed as being one of ‘fighting back’ against the introduction of such schemes. However, Coca-Cola should be applauded for looking at Scotland’s situation and changing its mind. With the Scottish Government’s commitment to finding out how a scheme could work in Scotland, this decision will go a long way to reassuring ministers that the environmental and economic benefits of the scheme have become inarguable.
Ministers in Westminster are also considering the same opportunity, with England facing the same challenges with regard to plastic pollution, wasted resources and high levels of littered bottles and cans.
Samantha Harding added: ‘'Within the past week, waste giant Suez UK has come out in support of deposit return and now the world's best known drink, Coca-Cola, has. This establishes the principle that deposit systems are the best solution for capturing and recycling valuable bottles and cans. We can now work with those involved in the scheme on the finer details but to have reached this level of agreement is unprecedented.'