A Beginner's Guide to Container Deposit Systems (DRS)

Bottel is building on the success of DRSs to create a second generation system, making recycling easier and more rewarding for consumers. As more countries implement DRSs, it's important to understand how they work and their impact on the planet.

  min read — 
February 23, 2023

If you've ever been to a nordic country, you're probably familiar with the concept of container deposit systems. But what exactly is a DRS and why is it so important to Bottel?

At its core, a container deposit system is pretty simple. It's a system where consumers pay a small deposit when they purchase a single-use beverage container, and that deposit is returned to them when they recycle the container.

The idea behind a DRS is to create an economic incentive for consumers to recycle their bottles and cans. By adding a deposit to the purchase price of a beverage container, consumers are more likely to return it for recycling, rather than throwing it away.

To make sure that each deposit is claimed only once, the system needs to be controlled. This is where reverse vending machines come in. These machines are placed in grocery stores in countries with a DRS. When a consumer puts their bottles and cans in the machine, the machine compresses the containers so they can't be recycled again. The machine keeps track of how many containers are recycled and gives the consumer a voucher for the deposit amount of the containers that were recycled in that session.

DRSs have been incredibly successful in countries like Sweden, where they've led to over 90% recycling rates for beverage containers. They've also been shown to reduce litter and save municipalities money, as well as create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union recently legislated that all member states must achieve a 90% collection for recycling target of single-use plastic bottles by 2029, with an interim target of 77% by 2025. DRSs are seen as a key method to achieve this objective.

At Bottel, we believe DRS is a beautiful technology that can change the world. We're building on the success of the first generation of DRSs to create the second generation of this system, making it even easier and making every bottle or can twice as valuable for the consumer making the recycling happen.

Today, we are working with the leaders of our industry to make it happen, but we are aware that the system we are building on is already creating massive progress. That’s why we are not looking to disrupt this system- rather, we are looking to enhance it. There is so much cool innovation that will happen in the DRS space in the next couple of years, and we can’t wait to become a part of it.

We can promise you one thing, we will always put the user at the center of it all.

Why is it so, that when you buy a container in one country and go over a border- why is it now useless? Why do I have to wait in line after each recycling session? Why can’t I recycle my containers from home? Why do I have to cash out my deposits each time I recycle when the amounts are insignificant and I no longer have any need for physical cash?

We want to be the problem solver here. And we are. We are really looking forward to being able to show you what we’ve worked on. If you want to learn more about our solution- feel free to read this blog post [here we will insert link to another blog post amount our solution]

As more and more countries around the world implement DRSs, it's important for everyone to understand how the system works and why it's so important for the planet. Our goal is not only to update container deposit systems, but to help them become more appealing to consumers and governments to spread faster around the world.

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