Happy birthday Boris: we mark the day with a huge DRS petition

19th June 2021

On the Prime Minister’s birthday, we send a message from over 32,000 of you that we want to see an all-in Deposit Return Scheme by 2023.

We’ve taken a message in a bottle to Boris Johnson, telling him that the country is ready and waiting to see a bottle return scheme of the sort already common in many other countries running here to cut plastic waste.

Many of us remember returning milk bottles when we were younger, and CPRE has been calling for the same system – where customers pay a small deposit, which is refunded when the bottle is given back for reuse – for a long time.

And we’re not alone. With the government threatening further delays to such a project, nearly 33,000 of you signed our petition calling on the Prime Minister not to dilute or delay the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) any longer. The government originally committed to making a DRS happen in England back in 2018 – and we’re still waiting.

Message in a bottle

We’re tired of waiting for the government to make good on this announcement and fear that the recent consultation was a way for them to kick the can down the road and appease industry lobbyists.

We want action on an all-in DRS, meaning that containers of all sizes and materials would be included. Other countries that have this see sky-high recycling rates: in Germany, for example, people waste (discard or litter) an average of just over 21 containers a year, whereas in the UK we each waste 126!

Thousands of you agree with us. Not only was our message in a bottle petition a very, very long list of your names, but we also saw nearly a thousand people taking the time to complete the recent government DRS consultation and approaching 2,000 of you tweeting at the Prime Minister to move on this.

Don’t dilute, don’t delay

We won’t stand by and let the government keep delaying this crucial litter-busting scheme. We’ll be keeping up the pressure on them to dramatically cut plastic waste by making an all-in scheme happen by 2023.

Keep an eye on our activity, as we have more planned – and in the meantime, why not drop us a few pennies too, to help us to redouble our campaigning efforts? Every donation helps us to keep making a stand for the countryside.

People wearing CPRE-branded high visibility jackets stand in front of Downing Street
CPRE campaigners visit Downing Street to hand in the 'message in a bottle' - a petition of over 32,000 people calling for a DRS Jess Hurd / CPRE

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