Bottle Deposit Systems

Which Countries Have Bottle Deposit Systems?

Germany has been using a highly successful bottle deposit system since 2003 to help cut down on plastic waste and increase recycling rates. A line of people in front of a deposit machine in a supermarket is perfectly normal with customers inserting their glass bottles, plastic bottles or beer crates before a receipt is printed, allowing them to recoup their money at the checkout. Currently, every glass bottle carries an eight cent charge while plastic ones are 25 cents. While the scheme has had the side effect of pushing disadvantaged members of society to root through rubbish bins in an attempt to find bottles to gain a deposit, it has proven successful and many countries are seeking to emulate it.

As of 2020, approximately 40 countries around the globe have introduced a bottle deposit system including Iceland, Ecuador, the Netherlands, Croatia and all of Scandinavia. In the United States, it has been introduced in 10 states - California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Vermont (as well as Guam). It is also up and running across much of Canada. That's according to a report from the Changing Markets Foundation which also states that eight countries have introduced legislation to bring in bottle deposit systems in the near future. The research also states that nine countries are currently conducting discussions exploring whether such a scheme would be feasible within their borders.

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This chart shows the global status of plastic bottle recycling systems in 2020.

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