The fight against plastic bottles

Around the world, many countries are taking initiatives to limit the waste and use of plastic. Plastic packaging and bottles are a major contributor to the pollution of the oceans, but also of towns and cities in countries where the logistics for collecting rubbish and cleaning up are poor.

Plastic bottles

In the past, people went out of their way and even queued up to fill their water bottles, for example. But since the 1980s, with the standardization of plastic packaging, people have preferred to buy products and drinks in plastic bottles and throw them away later because it takes up less of their time. They no longer have to go out to make the complaint but just buy a lot of drinks and throw the bottles away once they’re finished. Human laziness is becoming a disease that needs to be treated urgently for our own sake.

The French government is planning to do away with plastic bottles by 2040, with the emphasis on reusing glass bottles. A number of supermarkets have begun the operation by dedicating a section to people wishing to consume products in recyclable packaging. Once the product or drink has been consumed, the customer would have to take it to the shop to scan the packaging in the machine and be reimbursed for the price of the bottle. What’s more, according to customers, the taste of the products is better preserved in glass packaging, so the products are of better quality.

Alternatively, other initiatives for the more thrifty have been set up in various retail chains such as Leclerc or Carrefour, which pay you for your plastic bottles. Self-service machines are usually on display at the entrance, just waiting for you and your empty bottles in exchange for 2 cents per bottle.

Other countries are using more effective economic strategies. Lithuania has no qualms about attacking wallets and charging the price of the bottle in addition to the drink it contains. When buying a bottle of water, for example, Lithuanians pay for the bottle and the water separately, as the consumer is supposed to return the bottle to the shop. The price of the bottle is around 40 centimes, and you get your money back when you return it to the shop once it’s empty. Generally speaking, customers really do recycle their bottles, as several bottles represent a significant amount of household waste per year.

Co-funded by EU