The Sunderland Labour Party has welcomed the announcement of a new scheme that could see residents in the city receive cash back for recycling their rubbish.

Yesterday plans were announced for a deposit return scheme for plastic drinks bottles and cans, the details of which are being consulted on.

Last year, Labour councillors in Sunderland got behind a motion that urged Ministers to look at new and innovative ways to encourage recycling, and today it has been announced that consumers may soon receive a small cash sum for returning plastic, glass and metal drinks containers, with a range of measures to encourage recycling now being explored.

The scheme is intended to cut the litter polluting the land and sea by incentivising those who return their bottles and cans for recycling.

The initiative is a major step forward in the battle against litter and landfill, according to Labour in the city.

Michael Mordey, deputy leader of the Labour Party in Sunderland, said: “Litter is a blight on this city, and we as a Labour council are always looking at new ways to address this issue. Easrlier this month, we announced tough measures in our budget to help tackle litter, but ultimately, we do need the backing of Government in this battle.

“It’s encouraging to see that there may soon be more done to encourage the responsible disposal of waste nationally, an issue that we know is important to people in Sunderland.  We welcome this initiative and hope to see it move quickly, to deliver a cleaner, greener city for all to enjoy.”

Similar schemes operate in more than 30 countries around the world and campaigners have pressured Government for a decade to see it introduced in England.

Fees given to the consumer vary depending on the size of the bottle or can, with many countries using “reverse vending machines” to automate the return.