THE WELSH Liberal Democrats have made a manifesto commitment to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for disposable drinks containers.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that Wales throws away far too much. A party spokesman said: “We need to make sure we minimise waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling wherever possible and take some decisive action in tackling the issue of litter in Wales.
“We will introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, initially on a pilot basis, that would see customers pay a small cash deposit when they buy a drink in a plastic glass or metal container. The deposit would be refunded when they return the item to a collection point.”
Speaking ahead of a litter picking session with volunteer litter pickers, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: “The Welsh Liberal Democrats have always been the most environmentally aware of the major Welsh parties. Wales is a beautiful country and it is important that we tackle waste, litter and pollution to keep it that way.
“Wales throws away far too much. We need to make sure we minimise waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling wherever possible.
“We will introduce a Deposit Return Scheme, so customers will receive a small cash payment when they return drinks bottles and cans to a collection point.
“This policy will build on the success of the carrier bag charge that other countries have copied and ensure that Wales is at the cutting edge of environmental protection.”
Litter picker Michael Butterfield said: “On average 7-and-a-half out of every 10 bags of litter we collect are drink related (and nearly 50% by weight), so this is a massive issue that needs to be addressed in the new Assembly.
“We welcome the positive step that the Welsh Liberal Democrats have made in supporting a pilot deposit return scheme. We’d like to see such a scheme across all of Wales covering plastic/glass bottles and cans which will give us the best opportunity to tackle drink related litter.
“Deposit Return Schemes are a proven efficient method of collection of drink containers in many countries in Europe and across the world. It is long overdue here in Wales that we shift the cost to the polluter rather than the taxpayer footing the bill for collecting litter.
“In times of severe budgetary pressures on local authorities and a litter problem that is just not getting any better. A deposit return scheme should be seen as an opportunity in not only reducing the costs of collecting litter but increasing recycling rates.”
“Having recently visited Norway looking at their deposit return scheme where they have a return rate of 95% of such drinks containers. Lithuania has become the 10th country in Europe to adopt such a scheme and saw the country go love with their scheme in February this year.”