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Deposit-refund systems for one-way beverage packaging

Deposit-refund systems in Europe for one-way beverage packaging

ACR+ DRS report cover


Bilyana Spasova
Publication Date: 
March, 2019

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Key Area:


Philippe Micheaux-Naudet

Within the discussion on possible instruments that policy-makers can use to achieve waste collection targets and implement the 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan, deposit-refund systems (DRS) are often cited as a promising & useful policy tool. Such DRS ask consumers to pay an additional visible amount of money – a “deposit” – on top of the product price and then refund this money back if the consumer brings back the product (or its empty packaging) to an approved collection point.

In this report, ACR+ explored DRS experiences across ten European countries: Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Relying on available facts and data, the report presents an informative overview of existing examples and approaches in Europe for one-way beverage packaging. This analysis concludes that the launch timing in relation to other waste management systems and the positive participation of producers are both decisive in determining the success of the system.

To learn more about the hands-on implementation of DRS in Europe, read the full report here.