HC Deb 11 March 1942 vol 378 c1063
56. Mr. W. H. Green

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he is aware that the loss to retailers of milk, occasioned by the breakage or failure to return empty bottles, is approximately £1,000,000 per annum; and whether, to avoid this loss of money, material and labour, he will, in consultation with the retailers of milk, take steps to lessen if not completely to avoid this loss, either by way of a deposit on bottles, charged to the consumer, or the refusal to supply milk unless the empty bottle is returned?

Major Lloyd George

The wastage due to careless handling and misuse of milk bottles has been very fully discussed with the retail milk trade, and appeals have been made to the public by the Press and the B.B.C. stressing the need for keeping milk bottles in effective circulation. It has not been found possible to place a legal obligation upon consumers to return empty bottles, but if the retail trade desire to discuss the suggestions made by my hon. Friend, I should be glad to arrange for the necessary consultation.

Mr. Green

Does not the Minister think this enormous wastage creates a sufficiently serious position to warrant his Department pursuing the matter further?

Major Lloyd George

I agree with my hon. Friend, and we are prepared to discuss the matter further with the trade. We have already gone into the question very carefully, but there are very great difficulties, and we shall be only too happy if we are able to overcome them.