As we all know Germans take their policies and rules very seriously and follow them rigorously. Also they are very eco friendly and work towards Green initiatives. Pfand system is one of them German Pfand System(started in 2003) aims to reduce disposable plastics by implementing their responsible policy and encouraging companies to supply their products in multi use bottles. This system is all about the deposit you pay for plastic and glass bottles in addition to the price of the drink. The costs range from 8 cents to 25 cents depending upon the type of bottle. These deposits are then refunded once you return the bottle in the supermarkets or in the Pfand kiosks.
The multiuse plastic bottles can be refilled upto 25 times after cleaning and sterilizing. So it reduces the carbon emissions produced in manufacturing new bottles thus very much eco friendly.
You can recognize these Pfand bottles with their logos besides their bar codes. Usually the following kind of bottles comes under this system and are accepted by the reverse vending machines.
- Water bottles (glass or plastic)
- Soft drink bottles (glass or plastic)
- Beer bottles
- Aluminum cans
- All multiple-use (Mehrweg) containers
- Landliebe yoghurt containers
The bottles that are imported or brought from outside Germany does not come under this law. German Society for Packaging Market Research showed in 2015 that approx 98% PET were sold under deposit scheme and approx 93.5% were recycled bringing it nearer to success.
So whether the system is 100% successful or not, such emulations are a big leap forward towards the eco friendly environment. Other countries have also started taking such initiatives