Our previous Don’t Lose Your Bottle campaign 

In 2018-19 we ran a campaign called ‘Don’t Lose Your Bottle’ to increase awareness of the problem of single use plastics being littered around the city and ending up in the rivers and later the oceans, causing harm to wildlife and marine life. We petitioned Michael Gove (who was the Secretary of State for the Environment at the time)  to introduce a national Deposit Return Scheme on cans and bottles. This is a scheme in which on buying a can or bottle of drink, customers would pay a small deposit which would be refunded upon them returning the can or bottle to be recycled. 


Some good news!

At the start of this year The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has announced that a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) will be being brought into force from 1st October 2025. At Birmingham Friends of the Earth (BFoE) we are really pleased that a DRS will be being brought in despite being disappointed that it has taken a while for this result to be achieved and the implementation date is still a while away. 


The DRS for England and Northern Ireland will include facilities to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, steel and aluminium cans of 50 millilitres to 3 litres. In Wales, glass bottles will also be included. We hope to see more materials included once the scheme is implemented and progresses. However, it’s a very positive step that 83% of consultation respondents voted in favour of a DRS being introduced and that Defra have taken this forward and will be introducing one. 


We see this as a key move towards improving recycling facilities. We look forward to further details of the scheme and will keep you informed.  A big thank you to everyone who has supported us and continues to support us. It is with your help that campaign successes are possible. 

By Jodie Etheridge, group coordinator and former ‘Don’t Lose Your Bottle campaign leader