Amenity Value Benefits of a Deposit Return Scheme for Drinks Containers

plastic litter on a lakeside

We conducted an in-depth study on the benefits of reducing litter – in particular drinks containers. We used the stated preference method to design a survey through which individuals can trade off different ways of reducing litter and costs of doing so.

The (mean) value for an 85% reduction was around £5 per household per month. For context, this is around 0.2% of median household income in England. This assessment of benefit can then be compared to the cost of a Deposit Return Scheme.

As part of the study, we worked with a stakeholder research specialist to conduct interviews and test the survey material before piloting and then rolling out to the full sample online. The material included information and visuals displaying the type and amount of litter in different locations such as streets and parks, and several scenarios of litter removal out of which respondents chose their preferred one. Each scenario had a cost associated with it paid through the council tax which is used to infer the willingness to pay of respondents from different socio-economic groups across the UK.

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