A global disgrace and how the rest of world cleans up
AS the global demand for bottled water has soared, countries have responded to the potential for an environmental disaster caused by a sea of plastic.
Bottle deposit schemes are one of the most popular green initiatives adopted by governments across the globe.
The Scottish Government is yet to embrace it, but in recent years at least 17 countries have introduced legislation to encourage those buying water, juice and alcohol to return bottles – with others preparing to follow suit.
While each nation has its own approach, they have all enjoyed similar, high levels of success.
The first bottle deposit scheme was introduced nearly 50 years ago in Oregon, in the United States, and while legislation has been tweaked over the years, it remains in place.
The initiative has helped to cut waste by more than 80 per cent in the US and this success has encouraged other countries to follow their lead, with legislation covering more than 264million people worldwide.
Here’s how other nations have turned bottle deposit schemes into an environmental success: USA OREGON, in the Northwest, was the first place in the world to bring in a bottle return scheme in 1971. Over the years this has been tweaked as progress has been made in consumer markets.
The other states with the legislation are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Vermont.
US officials and environmental experts believe bottle deposit laws have cut waste by more than 80 per cent in states where the initiatives have been adopted.
BOTTLE deposit legislation, or ‘Einwegpfand’ as it is known, was passed in 2002 before being implemented on January 1, 2003.
German lawmakers brought forward the Bill after the country failed to meet recycling targets throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The country enjoys the highest rate of success, with 98.5 per cent of bottles returned – an estimated 12billion drinks containers are now off German streets in total.
BOTH the Northern Territory and South Australia introduced legislation in 2012-13 and it is to be rolled out across the country in the coming year. The only areas which will not have a bottle deposit initiative by 2018 will be Tasmania and Victoria.
Where the scheme is in place, a 76 per cent return rate has been reported. In 201 -16, 82million containers (43,16 tons) worth $ 8million (£3 million) were returned.
EACH province and territory in Canada has introduced its own bottle deposit system, except the northern territory of Nunavut. Most areas, including Alberta and Quebec, have a wide system accepting all drinks containers.
In Ontario, only alcohol bottles are accepted. This was initially introduced as a programme by The Beer Store for beer containers only. However, all alcohol bottles are now accepted, with the average one being washed and reused up to 15 times.
INITIAL legislation for a deposit refund scheme was introduced in 2008. Since then, 1.7billion bottles have been returned, with a return rate of 94 per cent.
THE refundable deposit legislation was introduced as part of the country’s Packaging Act, introduced in 2005. Since then there has been a return rate of between 80 and 96 per cent.
BOTTLE deposit legislation was introduced in 1999 – now there are more than 9,000 establishments where members of the public can return them and collect their deposit.
There are also nearly 3,000 reverse vending machines where drinks containers can be exchanged for receipts, which are then cashed.
Each year, around 194million cans and 49million bottles are collected as part of the scheme.
LEGISLATION was introduced for a can deposit scheme in 1984, which was extended to plastic bottles in 1994, before all drinks containers were included in 2006. The return rate is around 90 to 94 per cent.
THE legislation for the scheme passed last year. The Act was officially implemented in January and as yet there are no figures on success. A BOTTLE deposit scheme was introduced in 2001, with consumers urged to return drinks containers to retailers. The system has a 56 per cent return rate.
A DEPOSIT initiative was rolled out in 1989. Each year the return rate has been steady at 90 per cent for aluminium, 87 per cent for plastic and 82 per cent for glass.
LEGISLATION was introduced in 1989 then amended in 1991 to expand the scheme and include more types of containers. The return rate for all drinks containers remains between 80 and 98 per cent.
THE bottle deposit scheme was introduced in 200 and, while popular, the target remains at 80 per cent and above.
THE initiative was introduced in 2001 and has helped the country’s overall recycling rate go from 7 per cent at the beginning of the millennium to 30 per cent. The recycling rate of drinks containers is more than 70 per cent.