Plastic pollution is a huge problem, especially when it comes to beverage containers like plastic bottles. 1 million plastic bottles are now sold per minute and have become symbolic of a disposable system that’s fueling an ecological and environmental crisis.
The good news is that there’s a ready-made system that can all but eliminate one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution.
‘Bottle deposits’ put a small financial deposit on a beverage container at the point of sale that’s returned when you bring back your bottle to the store. Deposits create the incentive and thereby the mechanism to drastically reduce leakage. When this is done the right way return rates exceed 90%.
But deposit systems don’t just reduce plastic pollution, they also reduce carbon emissions, reduce demand for new plastic and create green jobs — a shift towards the circular economy we need.
Deposit legislation could have a huge impact right away but the beverage industry and grocers — who combined are responsible for managing such programs — have been at the heart of resisting and weakening the legislation.