Pret’s asking for customers’ advice on plastic bottles

It wants to launch a 10p bottle deposit scheme

Pret a Manger, the sandwich shop on pretty much every corner, is asking customers if they should start operating a deposit scheme for plastic bottles.

What it means: Pret's CEO has written a blog explaining a new scheme which he says should help reduce the amount of plastic the store sells. Pret would add 10p onto each plastic bottle, and would give customers 10p off if they bring a Pret bottle back to the store for recycling.

The idea is both to increase the amount Pret recycles, but also to incentivise customers to bring reusable bottles. People in the UK are suddenly waking up to the issue of plastic waste (thanks Attenborough), and there's suddenly a lot more support for the idea of a UK-wide scheme. Similar ones have worked in Scandinavian countries already, and the UK's already got the plastic bag tax which works in a similar way. It's based on an idea from 'behavioral economics' which says we're more likely to change our behaviour to avoid a charge, than to receive a discount, even if it's the same amount of money (cuz we're silly like that).

So what do you think? Is it a good idea? Is 10p enough to get you to bring your own bottle? Tweet your views to Clive Schlee (he's only got 5,000 followers, so he might even answer you!)

Learn more about how economics can be used to influence our behaviour

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