Norway has revealed their new plastic bottle recycling scheme has managed to achieve a 97 per cent recovery rate on all single – use plastic bottles, leading to a dramatic decrease in unnecessary plastic wastage across the country
The Scandinavian country, who tend to be at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally friendly programmes, have partnered with Infinitum, a plastic recycling company, to develop a new incentive – based method that could change the way the world recycles plastic.
Plastic waste is increasingly becoming a huge environmental problem for the world. A staggering 91 per cent of the world’s plastic isn’t recycled, often ending up in landfills, oceans, parkland, forests, and other public spaces.
On average, plastic can take up to 400 years to degrade, which means most of these bottles remain in the world in some form after they have been used.
In 2015, research published in Science magazine, estimated that 8 million metric tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans each year. That equates to five plastic shopping bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline around the world.
These stark reminders are why it is important the world gains control of the plastic waste problem, and this new initiative pioneered in Norway could point to a future without a plastic waste problem.
How does the Norway plastic recycling scheme work? The Norway model uses a plastic bottle loaning programme. When a consumer buys a bottle of water, they are charged a small fee, anywhere between 13 to 30 pence depending on the size of the bottle.
That fee can then be redeemed when it is returned to a collection point. These collection points can be anything from a reverse vending machine, which scans their bottles and credits consumers money back, petrol stations and various small shops who are part of the scheme.
The small fee attached to each bottle is not the only additional cost added to preventing further plastic waste. The Norwegin government is attaching an environmental tax on plastic producers, one that can be reduced as improvements in plastic collection grow. If the nationwide recycling level is above 95 per cent, then every plastic bottle producer is excused from the tax. In Norway’s case, they have reached over 95 per cent for seven successive years.
For more information on the Norway plastic recycling scheme visit Infiniton online.