Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Our achievements

Our achievements

CPRE has a long record of community engagement and action to tackle litter:

  • Our work began in 1927, supporting a range of local and national campaigns. We were part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign ahead of the Festival of Britain in 1951 and went on to second the resolution by the Women’s Institute to create a Keep Britain Tidy Group in 1955.
  • Our branch network runs local and county-wide campaigns across England, working with schools, councils, businesses and other charity groups on a host of activities to reduce litter.
  • We commissioned the first comprehensive research into how a deposit return system for drinks containers would work in the UK, showing that it would create jobs, save councils money and increase recycling of valuable glass, aluminium and plastic.
  • We have worked with CleanupUK to develop the LitterAction community, whose members are out in their local areas clearing litter come rain or shine. These amazing volunteers clear up rural, urban and coastal areas across the UK and we help them by providing free litter picking equipment and all the information they need to take local action against litter. You can join them and request free equipment at or visit the LitterAction Facebook group to find out more.
  • We were a founding member of Break the Bag Habit, a campaign that successfully called for a charging scheme for carrier bags in England resulting in an 85% drop in plastic bag usage in the first six months (2016). We worked with Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, Thames21 and Greener upon Thames as part of this coalition. 
  • We spent 10 years campaigning for a deposit return system for drinks containers in England, so we were thrilled to see the Government take the leap and announce plans for a nationwide scheme in March 2017.

What next?

We are now focusing our efforts on the idea of a deposit return system (DRS) for drinks containers in the England. All the research, through existing schemes overseas and research, including our 2010 report Have we got the bottle?, suggest it would lead to increased recycling plus economic benefits.

Find out more

Deposit return systems: how they work and who we’re up against

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