Plastic bottles are convenient and cheap but more often than not they end up in a landfill. But that's not how it used to be.

Back in the old days you got a refund for your empty bottles at the dairy.

"We had bottle deposits right up until the mid-1980's," says Sandra Murray of the NZ Product Stewardship Council. "They were really popular and we didn't have much litter back then either."

That's why Ms Murray wants bottle deposits in New Zealand reinstated because currently about 40 percent of drink containers are recycled.


"If we had that nationwide we would reduce litter by about 65 per cent in New Zealand. We would also reduce a lot of the litter and plastic that's ending up in our oceans. It would also create around 2500 jobs nationwide."

This Saturday Hamilton people can exchange their bottles for cash at Go Eco in Frankton.

"We're collecting 20,000 bottles," Anna Casey-Cox from Go Eco says. "The idea is to support the national movement to get bottle deposit schemes back.

"People can bring them down to Commerce Street in Frankton, to Go Eco and we'll have a lot of people handing out stickers to send to Scott Simpson to be part of that advocacy as well, to get him to implement them back in our communities again."

Each bottle brought earns ten cents in return, or $5 for 50 bottles.

"If you and your mates decide to do that together then you can obviously raise some money for you and your community group or your school and that's a really positive aspect of the bottle deposit scheme because it gives a little bit of power back to the community in terms of enabling them to raise money for things that they care about," Mrs Casey-Cox says.

Associate Minister for Conservation Scott Simpson says he remembers getting money from bottle deposit schemes in his childhood - but he doesn't see the need for a bottle deposit scheme now that there is kerbside recycling.

"I'm not convinced of the need for a bottle deposit scheme yet because I think we are a country that does a particularly good job on kerbside recycling. That's the pathway we went down as a country years ago and now we've got a very sophisticated and pretty much nationwide kerbside recycling programme in place," Mr Simpson says.

Organisers of the bottle drive say the public are more likely to recycle if they're paid to. Empty bottles can be taken to Go Eco in Frankton, Hamilton between 10 am and 1 pm tomorrow.

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