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Denmark extends recycling system to juice and smoothie bottles

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Denmark extends recycling system to juice and smoothie bottles
Minister for the Environment Lea Wermelin tries out returning one of the newly-recyclable bottles. Photo: Martin Sylvest / Ritzau Scanpix
06:39 CEST+02:00
Denmark's system of surcharging for the use of recyclable bottles and cans now applies to juice, smoothie and cordial bottles.

Like with cans, glass bottles and larger plastic bottles, the packaging will be returnable to stores once empty as part of the recycling system known in Denmark as ‘pant’.

The ‘pant' system is based on a small surcharge being paid on every bottle at the point of purchase. The surcharge, or deposit, is paid back to consumers when bottles are returned via specialized machines, which are located at most supermarkets.

On Monday, the system was extended and will soon include more that 400 different types of juice, smoothie and cordial bottles.

That means a total of over 50 million glass, aluminium and plastic bottles and cans will now find their way to pant machines and be recycled annually, estimates operator Dansk Retursystem.

The update to the system was approved by parliament last year. Heidi Schütt Larsen, deputy director of Dansk Retursystem, said she welcome the potential increase in recycling.

“There was great political interest in putting this packaging into the pant system due to climate and resources considerations. It will save a lot of CO2 and resources,” Larsen said.

Danes already return an average of 3.8 million bottles and cans daily, making the country one of the world’s most prolific returners of recycling.

Not all of the new types of containers will be recyclable immediately – a phasing-in period will see older packaging without the ‘pant’ marking remain on shelves for the time being.

But all smoothie, juice and cordial bottles will be ‘pantable’ by November 1st.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen's 'dignified' rubbish plan expands

 
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