Her comments come in response to suggestions made last week at the launch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England's (CPRE) Stop the Drop project. Ruddock said: "I have asked officials to look at how we deal with the worst litter offenders, which are bottles and cans. I can see the attraction of take-back schemes."
Writer Bill Bryson, figurehead of the campaign, said: "Deposit laws not only encourage recycling and discourage random discarding, but also give litter a value, which makes it attractive as a revenue source."
Such a scheme would see drinks manufacturers charge retailers an extra 10p on cans and plastic bottles, with the cost passed on to the customer.