I WELL remember the fun of collecting a few pence of pocket money for returning empty glass bottles of "ginger" to the local shop for, I assumed, reuse after appropriate processing; it was part of growing up. Now an octogenarian, I fully endorse the need for recycling in the interests of the environment. I play my part, as do many, by rinsing drinks containers of glass, plastic and metal and placing them in the appropriate bin for uplift by the officers of the local authority, for needful treatment and disposal; Tetrapak and similar materials are presently more difficult, requiring a trip to designated depots, but hopefully this will soon be covered by domestic uplift also. These services are paid for from our Council Tax.

Accordingly it was necessary to check that I was not reading your issue of April 1 when I perused the front page report ("Cans and bottles to carry 20p deposit to save waste", The Herald, May 9) about a proposed scheme – justified it seems by the usual "research indicates" – to charge a 20p deposit for each empty container, which would be collected by a substantial price rise when purchasing the items in question, and refunded when the empty container is returned. The elaborate system for effecting this process will be cumbersome in the extreme, time- and space-consuming especially for small shop-keepers, and yet another major inconvenience for the lieges. It appeals to naked avarice, and is a classic example of nanny stateism. We can be sure the litter louts will continue their nefarious habits regardless, and policing the new system will be a nightmare.

Will I and other responsible citizens be allowed to sign on oath an undertaking to use existing recycling schemes, receiving in return a personal swipe card for presentation when purchasing the relevant items which will automatically deduct the amount of the deposit from our bill at the counter? Or is this scheme, however well intentioned in theory, yet another example of the lunatics taking over the asylum?

James McIntyre,


I WISH the 20p deposits and refunds would be phased in sooner. It would help build momentum for the serious actions needed to combat our dangerous abuse of Mother Nature. It will also give many bored children a remunerative activity. Let's do it now – or at least ASAP.

Dr Dennis Oliver,