YESTERDAY in an international day of action a global network of campaigners and organisations came together to call for a world-wide deposit return system for drink containers.

Starting yesterday morning at 9.00am local time in each participating country a series of aerial photographs and videos of messages written on hillsides, beaches and buildings have been released.

The messages from 23 countries across five continents are calling for a ‘Clean Planet’.

The global stunt is aimed at raising awareness of the environmental impact of drinks packaging, with an international call for action from governments across the world. They are being called upon to extend, update or introduce a deposit return system as the best solution to drinks container pollution.

In 2015 it was estimated that 1.6 trillion drinks containers were sold across the world. Using growth projections based on the increase in the numbers of containers sold from 2014 to 2015, global sales of aluminium cans glass and plastic bottles, as well as drinks cartons, pouches and sachets, look set to reach 1.9 trillion in 2019.

Effective deposit return systems simultaneously boost recycling rates to more than 90 percent, reduce the environmental damage they cause by stopping them from being littered and make producers of these products responsible for the cost of the waste that they create.

In a joint statement the Clean Planet campaigners said: "The scale of the pollution problem requires immediate global action.

"Now is the time for every government around the world to stand up and take action against the environmental devastation caused by drinks cans, bottles and cartons – we cannot wait any longer for a clean planet.

"Through effective deposit return systems that collect and accept every single type of drinks container, introduced right across the world, we have a chance to stop choking our planet with the trillions of bottles cans and cartons that are produced every single year."

How a deposit return system works

When you buy a drink, you pay a small deposit (10-20p) and then when you return the container you get your deposit back. Thanks to the monetary incentive, such schemes already in operation throughout the world achieve unrivalled return rates of between 70-98.5 percent, with an associated reduction in other container litter of up to 80 percent.