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Plastic Bottles Recycled Less

Consumers are recycling new one-way plastic bottles less enthusiastically than refillable glass bottles. Last year, 96 percent of refillable glass bottles were returned to stores compared to 76 percent of one way plastic bottles.

Helmikuussa useimmat ruokakaupat vastaanottavat myös Alkon lasipulloja
Helmikuusta lähtien useimmat ruokakaupat vastaanottavat myös Alkon lasipulloja Image: YLE

Environmental officials are not alarmed at this stage about the trend noting the appearance of one-way plastic bottles is a recent development.

Since 2008, a change was adopted to taxation governing beverage packaging which made one-way recyclable plastic bottles exempt from tax if the manufacturer signed up to a recycling system approved by environmental officials.

Finland is one of leading recyclers of bottles and cans. A total of 94 percent were returned to retailers last year. According to Senior Inspector Pasi Halme of the Pirkanmaa Regional Environmental Centre, a returnable deposit remains a significant factor promoting consumer enthusiasm. Greater environmental awareness also helps in keeping down waste reaching landfill sites.

Nature conservationists are less keen on one-way bottles and cans claiming they actually cause more rubbish. They note a glass bottle is reused about 30 times giving a much lower environmental impact.

According to Hanna Kaisa Hellsten, Environmetal Polic Secretary of the Finnish Nature League, many bottles and cans are wrapped in packaging materials which increases the level of waste.

Sources: YLE

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