Responding to a call from the Campaign to Protect Rural England for a UK wide deposit refund system for drinks containers, Jane Bickerstaffe, INCPEN Director says:

 "We want to work with others to tackle all litter and promote recycling.  Littering is the result of careless or thoughtless behaviour.  The way to tackle litter is by education, cleaning and law enforcement.  This is a far more effective way than a deposit scheme.

"Encouraging use of existing kerbside and recycling collection schemes also makes good environmental and business sense.”


  • INCPEN members actively support anti-littering campaigns, including Keep Britain Tidy and CPRE’s Stop the Drop campaign.  We want to make littering socially unacceptable so everyone can be proud of where they live.
  • Deposits are an expensive option for consumers and businesses.  They discriminate against a few littered items and ignore many others such as leaflets, ATM receipts, cigarette ends, crisp bags, chewing gum and many other items.
  • Manufacturers and retailers are committed to improving recycling and play an active role in this by investing in "on-the-go” recycling and working with local authorities to increase awareness and recycling rates.

Key facts:

  • There is no uniform system of measuring litter but it’s widely accepted that drinks containers are less than 15% (though a major Keep Britain Tidy survey showed beverage related litter at 0.4%).  Targeting this one category doesn’t make sense.
  • Deposits schemes are open to fraud – the higher the deposit the greater the incentive. Fraud has been a major issue in Germany, where the deposit is 21p.
  • Many countries have rejected deposits, including Belgium, France, Spain, Ireland.
  • Deposits in Germany are three times more expensive than collecting recyclables through the existing household packaging collection system
  • MetalMatters was developed and funded by the metal packaging manufacturing industry, reprocessors and fillers to work in partnership with local authorities and their waste collection partners to promote metal packaging recycling, and improve capture rates at kerbside


The Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment - was set up in 1974 to study the environmental and social impacts of packaging. It draws together an influential group of companies that operate throughout the supply chain and share a common interest in packaging, the environment and sustainable development.

INCPEN has campaigned against littering for many years and has been a member and strong supporter of Keep Britain Tidy.  It also works with the Campaign to Protect Rural England.  It has commissioned numerous pieces of research to better understand the issue.  It encourages its members and other companies to use the Tidyman logo on products likely to be used outdoors.  Anti-littering messages are a key part of INCPEN’s highly respected schools’ literature. 

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