Solving the Plastic Paradox with Deposit Return Systems

This blog post explores the plastic paradox and how deposit return systems (DRSs) play a vital role in addressing plastic pollution.

  min read — 
March 26, 2023

The issue of plastic pollution has been a growing concern for the environment, with plastic bottles being a significant contributor to the problem. Despite efforts to reduce plastic bottle consumption and increase recycling, there is still a long way to go. One solution that has gained attention in recent years is deposit return systems (DRSs), which play a vital role in the recycling chain for manufacturers and packaging and recycling companies. In this blog post, we will explore the plastic paradox, the role of DRSs in addressing this issue, and how Bottel is contributing to a more sustainable future.

The Plastic ParadoxFacing growing public outcry over the plastic pollution crisis, there has been a surge of voluntary public pledges from large beverage companies to dramatically increase recycling rates and incorporate higher levels of recycled content in their consumer goods. Governments around the globe are also stepping in to support the demand for recycled materials by setting minimum recycled content laws. Legislation in the European Union, for example, will require 25% recycled content in PET beverage bottles from 2025 and 30% in all plastic beverage bottles by 2030.

However, as consumer demand for recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) grows, and governments continue to set regulations to increase the use of recycled materials, a plastic paradox is created. There isn’t enough high-quality material being collected and recycled for manufacturers to meet the increased demand. The U.S. recycling rate for PET bottles was 27.9% in 2019, a slight decrease from the 2018 rate of 28.9%. Analysts claim the recycling rate would have to increase even more for brands to meet a 25% recycled content target.

The Role of Deposit Return SystemsDRSs play a vital role in the material pipeline for manufacturers and packaging and recycling companies. In addition to achieving high collection rates by offering an economic incentive to recycle, DRSs also ensure a clean stream of materials fit for bottle-to-bottle recycling by collecting and managing materials in a manner that reduces contamination and ensures high-quality outputs. DRSs are the only way to realistically collect enough containers to meet targets for recycled content. The American Beverage Association expressed openness to container deposit fees in 2019 after previously opposing them.

DRSs also support a more sustainable future by providing a consistent supply of clean feedstock for manufacturers to incorporate greater levels of recycled materials in their products and packaging. This is essential to meet the growing demand for recycled materials and the regulations that set minimum recycled content laws. DRSs can help increase the recycling rate, making it more feasible for brands to meet their targets for recycled content.

Bottel’s Contribution to a Sustainable FutureBottel recognizes that the issue of plastic bottle waste requires collective action. That is why Bottel's platform incentivizes and rewards users for recycling, making the process more engaging and enjoyable. By increasing demand for DRSs and making them more appealing to consumers, Bottel aims to promote responsible consumption and encourage recycling. With Bottel's platform, users can earn rewards and discounts for recycling, making it a win-win situation for the environment and users.

Bottel is committed to doing its part in creating a more sustainable future. By promoting responsible consumption and encouraging recycling, we can help reduce the environmental impact of plastic bottles. Together, we can make a difference and ensure a brighter future for our planet.

ConclusionThe plastic paradox is a global challenge that requires collective action. Governments, industries, and individuals must work together to reduce plastic bottle consumption, increase recycling, and develop alternative packaging formats. DRSs play a vital role in addressing the issue of plastic pollution by providing a consistent supply of clean feedstock for manufacturers to incorporate greater levels of recycled materials in

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