Consideration of bottle deposit scheme welcomed

Green Party Councillor Ross Brown has welcomed that consideration is being given to re-introducing a money-back on bottles deposit scheme.

Ross Brown, who represents East Belfast said,

“I am delighted that the minister is considering this initiative. There is a need to improve recycling rates in Northern Ireland, which will have a range of benefits including reducing litter and decreased consumption of raw materials.

“There are many who will remember the old bottle deposit scheme when it was second nature to send bottles back for reuse.

“We have already seen that relatively small amounts of money can have a big impact on changing behaviour. For example, the carrier bag levy has seen a marked decrease in the use of single-use shopping bags.

“I am confident that by effectively rewarding customers by returning between 10p and 20p to them, we would see an improvement in bottle recycling.

“I hope that Minister Durkan’s options paper clearly highlights the benefits of this scheme, which has been successful in other countries, and look forward to working with him to improve recycling across Northern Ireland”.

The Belfast City Councillor added,

“I would urge the Minister to not limit his ambitions and to also investigate the prospect of deposit schemes for other products such as aluminium cans and tyres.

“In Northern Ireland we are currently consuming resources three times faster than the planet can sustain. Creative initiatives are required and robust action needs to be taken to take us off this unsustainable trajectory.

“For example, making producers of goods take responsibility for initiatives to deal with the waste created by their products is key to achieving the benefits of a circular resource economy.

“A glass deposit scheme provides a very clear indication to consumers of the value of resources and the cost of waste.

“The circular economy, where the UK increasingly re-uses and recycles the resources it already has, has the potential to generate 50,000 new jobs and boost national income by £3bn. It must therefore be at the core of government policy”.

Ends

Notes to editors:

DoE press release can be accessed here: http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-doe/news-doe-260615-money-back-on.htm

This press release was issued on Friday, 26 June 2015.

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