The problem with returnable bottles

Every year refundable bottles worth 172 million Euros end up in trash cans and will never see the supermarket where they come from again. That is a lot of money and a lot of people could use this money. How?

Well there could be some collecting points or special areas to drop off the bottles but then you could just go the supermarket and return them like usually. Also you would get your money back. The German system has three different types of returnable bottles: 0,08 € 0,15 € and 0,25 €. The last one is a lot even it’s still a small amount but you only need four bottles of this type to have 1 €. A lot of people could use this money and we’re throwing it away. So what would be a solution?

Probably this is the solution:

A German association called »Pfand-Gehört-Daneben« (Deposit-Belongs-Next-To-It) started a project. The solution is quite simple and easy. Put your bottle next to the trash can and don’t throw it away. With stickers and leaflets the association is trying to raise attention to motivate people to put their returnable bottles next to the trash cans. Why?

Imagine you go into a park and you’ve like 6 beers with you in returnable bottles. You wouldn’t take them home with you and if you throw them into a trash can they get lost and will never be recycled. So far I’ve seen people in Denmark, Netherlands and Germany who collects these bottles and they return them to get the money. That’s good isn’t it? So the motivation of »Pfand-Gehört-Daneben« is recycling AND help socially-weak people. To make the pick-up more easy for the collectors »Pfand-Gehört-Daneben« developed a bottle crate which can get attached to street lamps and other pillars.

I know this sounds like an easy thing but so far I only heard of a movement like this in Germany. So if your country supports returnable bottles maybe think about placing your next to a trash can! The collectors don’t have to put their hands into the dirty and also dangerous trash cans (Needles, broken glass, injections, could harm them).

What can you do?


and for very ambitious people: Start your own project in your country

Image by: cptmuh