Bottle Deposit - Container-deposit Legislation By Country - The Nordic Countries - Sweden


In Sweden, there are deposits on nearly all containers for consumption-ready beverages. Of the aluminium cans and PET bottles affected by the deposit that are sold, 91% and 84% are returned respectively. The return rates for the two glass bottle types are 99% and 90% respectively.

AB Svenska Returpack is responsible for the deposit system for aluminium cans and PET bottles. The aluminum cans have had a deposit since 1984, and PET bottles since 1994. Svensk GlasÅtervinning AB is responsible for the deposit system of glass bottles. A glass bottle recycling system was introduced in 1884 and the bottles were first standardized in 1885.

Until 1998, the hard alcohol and wine bottles sold at Systembolaget — the government owned alcohol retail monopoly — had a deposit as well, but due to the deregulation of the Systembolaget's suppliers, the former sole supplier V&S Group dropped the deposit on their bottles due to the restricted bottle shapes giving V&S a disadvantage compared to the competitors. The bottles could be returned and deposit refunded until early 1999 at Systembolaget.

The legislation regarding container deposit systems was updated so that from January 1, 2006 containers from other plastics and metals, e.g. steel cans, can be included in the deposit systems. The law also makes it illegal in Sweden to sell consumption-ready beverages in containers that are not part of an authorized Swedish container deposit system, with the exception of beverages that mainly consist of dairy products or vegetable, fruit, or berry juice. However, private importation from (mainly Eastern European) countries without deposit occurs by vendors that thus compete with a somewhat lower customer price. The recycling of these contraband cans has been low as seen as a problem, but Returpack made a campaign in 2010 offering 0.10 SEK for each imported can (without deposit) to the benefit of WWF, retrieving 17 million cans. In 2011 a similar campaign was repeated, retrieving almost 18 million cans. Non-deposit glass containers are collected in large glass garbage bins, for clear or coloured glass, placed centrally in most urban areas.

The 1.5 L refillable PET bottle with a deposit of 4.00 SEK has been discontinued, and has been replaced by the 1.5 L non-refillable PET bottle. The last day for returning bottles made by Spendrups for deposit was 30 June 2007, and the last day for bottles made by Coca-Cola Sweden was 30 June 2008.

Although Sweden is one of the leading countries in recycling of beverage containters, Returpack uses TV commercials to promote more recycling. Commercials have been made with well-known melodies sung, like "Guantanamera" and "Pata pata" sounding like Returpack's slogan "panta mera" (i.e. "recycle more").

Read more about this topic:  Bottle Deposit, Container-deposit Legislation By Country, The Nordic Countries

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