A global network of environmental campaigners is calling for world-wide deposit return systems for drinks containers, as part of an international day of action taking place today (9 May).


In an international “stunt” spanning five continents, the ‘Clean Planet’ coalition of 29 countries is releasing a series of aerial photographs and videos of messages written on hillsides, beaches and buildings calling for a ‘Clean Planet.’

The images will be available at 9.00am local time, in each country taking part, throughout the day, in a bid to raise awareness of the environmental impact of drinks packaging.

In a joint statement the Clean Planet campaigners said: “The scale of the pollution problem requires immediate global action.

“Now is the time for every government around the world to stand up and take action against the environmental devastation caused by drinks cans, bottles and cartons – we cannot wait any longer for a clean planet.

“Through effective deposit return systems that collect and accept every single type of drinks container, introduced right across the world, we have a chance to stop choking our planet with the trillions of bottles, cans and cartons that are produced every single year.”

Samantha Harding, litter programme director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which is taking part in the global day of action, said: “We stand united with campaigners from all across the globe, calling for world-wide deposit return systems to tackle the environmental crisis caused by drinks containers.

“As the UK government edges closer to a decision on the type of Deposit Return System that will be introduced here in England, it is imperative that the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, ensures that we get the best possible system.”

“Only by introducing an “all-in” deposit return system – that includes every single drinks can, bottle and carton of all sizes and materials – are we going to effectively tackle the crisis and bring about the clean planet that we so desperately need.”

CPRE is holding England’s ‘Clean Planet’ event in West Sussex. The countryside charity has hung banners with the message from the sails of a windmill overlooking the South Downs National Park.

Last year, the UK government committed to introduce a deposit return system in England and it is currently consulting on two design options for what the system will include and how it will operate.

On Wednesday Scotland announced that its forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme would include glass, plastic and aluminium drinks containers of all sizes and would apply to all retailers.