In Germany, the system has operated successfully for many years.


The Council of Majorca intends introducing a can and bottle return system for supermarkets. A new plan for waste is due to be approved soon, and this system will be included. The intention is for it to start next year. Facilities in shops would of course have to be installed, while the plan envisages the building of a new plant for bottle cleaning.

The system is of course used in various countries. Consumers pay for bottles and are refunded when they are returned. In Germany, it is estimated that 98% of bottles using this process are recycled. Croatia introduced the system a couple of years ago, and it has been deemed a success. Meanwhile in the Balearics, the level of recycling is only some 17%. European directives have set a target of increasing this to 50% by 2020.

The Council's plan will include glass bottles, plastic bottles for water and other drinks, and beer and soft drinks cans. Sandra Espeja, the councillor for the environment, says that the system abides by the principle of who pollutes, pays. "If people don't return them, then they don't get a refund."

As well as supermarkets, there could be machines at petrol stations. The yellow rubbish containers in the streets would still be used for receptacles not included in the return system.