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2018: CPRE’s impact

18th June 2018

After years of campaigning for a deposit return system, we celebrated when the then environment secretary Michael Gove committed England to a DRS for all bottles and cans.

We had a major influence on the government’s long-awaited 25 Year Environment Plan, which spoke of ‘using our land more sustainably’ and the importance of Green Belt as ‘breathing space for our urban populations to enjoy’.

Our joint research report with Shelter, Viable Villages, showed how a planning loophole was allowing developers to reduce the delivery of rural affordable homes by 48%. The Prime Minister immediately pledged to ‘end abuse of the “viability assessment” process’, and ‘make it much harder for unscrupulous developers to dodge their obligation to build homes local people can afford’ – policy changes to deliver this were subsequently included in the revised National Planning Policy Framework.

Our Planning for People campaign to influence the revised NPPF also succeeded in reinstating the ‘highest status of protection’ for National Parks and AONBs, maintained Green Belt protections and reinstated ‘social housing’ within the definition of affordable housing.

CPRE President Emma Bridgewater co-signed a letter to The Times with her predecessors Andrew Motion, Max Hastings, Jonathan Dimbleby and David Puttnam, urging environment secretary Michael Gove to announce a mandatory deposit return system for all bottles and cans or risk allowing the UK to ‘become “the dirty man of Europe” once more.’ The government immediately confirms that a DRS scheme ‘will be introduced subject to consultation’. We also succeeded in winning a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds, due to come into force in 2020.

Find out more about what CPRE achieved in 2018.

A school pupil meeting politician Michael Gove
School children explain to the then environment secretary Michael Gove why an all-in deposit return scheme is so important.


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