Italy’s deposit return scheme for bottles gets underway

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Italy’s deposit return scheme for bottles gets underway

Restaurants, bars, hotels and shops across Italy will from Tuesday participate in a deposit return scheme for glass bottles as part of the government’s aim to promote a culture of recycling.


Customers would leave a small deposit when buying drinks in glass bottles, which would be refunded when returned to the bartender or shop, reported Corriere.

The initiative, introduced by the environment ministry in September, revives a regulation that was in place in the 1980s. It will begin as a year-long trial and, if successful, will be extended to other reusable packaging.

A similar system is already in widespread use in northern European countries, including Germany, the UK, Finland, Norway and Denmark.

“This regulation gives customers and businesses the chance to learn more about environmental good practice while producing less waste and saving money,” said Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti.

It might come as a surprise to many, but Italy ranked top in the EU for waste recycling in a Eurostat report published on Monday. The country recycles 76.9 percent of urban, industrial and other waste, well above the EU average of 37 percent and ahead of France (54 percent), the UK (44 percent) and Germany (43 percent). 

Meanwhile, last year Italy’s upper house passed a raft of legislation designed to combat food waste across the country.

Read more: What you need to know about Italy's new food waste laws


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