An environmental charity is calling on the Government to introduce a deposit on plastic bottles and cans to help reduce litter that blights Britains streets.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is urging the Government to introduce a scheme which would pay out 10 pence for every drinks can and plastic water bottle recycled.
Launching a nationwide campaign to tackle litter and fly-tipping the group said that each household disposes of 500 plastic bottles per year. Only 130 of these are recycled per year while the rest end up in landfill or on the streets as litter.
If the deposit scheme was implemented drinks manufacturers would add 10p to the price of every bottle or can sold. The consumer or whoever picked up the container from the street, would then collect the 10p deposit when they returned the bottle to the retailer or recycling collection point.
The manufacturer could make money from selling the containers for recycling, while cleaner streets would mean fewer costs to the taxpayer.
CPRE spokeswoman said: Litter is so bad that people are now dropping litter and expecting someone else to clean it up. We have to reverse the mindset of people. If we did not drop litter we would not have to propose this scheme in the first place.
"The CPRE will be lobbying the Government for more leadership to tackle litter and fly-tipping.
Similar schemes are already in place in south Australia, Germany, Sweden and the US, where 11 states have bottle bills with a 5 cent deposit added to the price of each drink.
Minster for Environment Joan Ruddock said: Waste solutions have to make both environmental and economic sense if they are to be successful. Deposit and return schemes died out in this country because they did not make financial sense.
Until their environmental benefits are more clear cut we are not currently persuaded that implementing them would be justified. We wouldn't entirely rule them out because we are looking at innovative ideas for better collection of materials that get discarded on the street.