A Bottle Deposit - Making your Plastic Bottle Worth Something

Today the government announced they will look into implementing a nationwide plastic bottle deposit scheme. For more information about what that would look like, check out The Kiwi Bottle Drive.

We know that this simple concept won’t necessarily fix the problem but:

  • It will likely provide the recycling industry cleaner bottles as people will value them more
  • The cost will be put on the manufacturers to charge more to cover the scheme, this is Product Stewardship in action and going be a great steppingstone to bigger changes
  • While drink manufacturers won’t say they want it, they won’t fight it if a bottle deposit scheme gets put in place. They know full well they are part of the plastic pollution problem.
  • Currently only about 9% of plastic that is produced is recycled. If there was an incentive to put that bottle in the right place, it would get some of the bottles out of the environment and into recycling schemes
  • New Zealander’s have expressed their concerns about the urgency of climate action, this would be a great way for the Government to take a small step in the right direction.
  • Bottle deposit schemes have proven to be successful overseas and New Zealand is quite far behind on the incentivising waste.

The bottom line is that reusing bottles or containers is always going to be far better than single use alternatives, but a deposit scheme could be the beginning of much more than 20 cents back for a drink bottle… it could be the beginning of a shift toward a much more sustainable future.