In the district of kronach, around 7 million disposable bottles could be saved each year for mineral water and soft drinks alone – if manufacturers and retailers consistently complied with the legal reusable quota. This has been pointed out by the trade union nahrung-genuss-gaststatten. The NGG upper franconia bases its calculation on a statistical per capita consumption of around 148 liters of mineral water and 116 liters of soft drinks per year. According to the german federal environment agency, the percentage of refillable bottles used here was recently only 33 percent. However, as of this year, a reusable bottle quota of 70 percent is required by law. For the difference of 37 percent, based on an average bottle size of one liter, this results in a plastic savings of 7 million bottles in the kronach district.
Mehrweg secures jobs
"Disposable bottles put massive pressure on the local environmental balance sheet. Because the plastic bottles, on which there is a 25 cent deposit, are shredded after only one use and "recycled", says michael grundl, managing director of NGG upper franconia. On the other hand, a 0.7-liter glass water bottle replaces 37 1-liter PET bottles in the eco-balance. This is the conclusion reached by the german environmental aid association (DUH). The reusable system is not only important in terms of environmental protection, says grundl. "If glass or sturdy plastic bottles are collected, cleaned and filled, this also secures jobs in the beverage industry. It employs more than 20000 people in bavaria." Mehrweg was also a decisive contribution against the "deposit chaos" in the super or beverage market, so the NGG. "Consumers complain that they often only get rid of their empties where they bought them. The best strategy is to use standard returnable bottles, such as the euro bottle for beer, which is widely used in bavaria. They are collected regionally and refilled – without having to travel long distances", according to grundl.
"Ending the disposable trend"
The NGG calls on beverage manufacturers and retailers to stop the "one-way trend at the expense of the environment and jobs" to finish. Politics, too, could no longer stand idly by and watch as reusable bottles were pushed off the market, grundl emphasizes. The issue is at the top of the federal government’s agenda. "Environment minister schulze should quickly convene a multi-way summit – and make sure that a violation of the quota has consequences." Producers who do not comply with the reusable quota have not had to face any sanctions so far.