Deposits for Drinks in One-Way Drinks Packaging's

We Indians follow the British or Europeans in few aspects like using their dress code that doesn't suit our climate or western style of living that ruin our tradition. However, we never obtain or follow certain excellent stuff they do. Only in the past few years we realized that dumping of  plastic wastes will spoil our own ground.  Although, the Indian government struggle to prevent soil ecological pollution, we do not have a systematic scheme or policy from our own ground to succeed. The government says no to plastic bags, what is the alternate they provide?. Is it a paper bag as it is biodegradable? do they want to cut all the trees to make paper bags to escape from pollution by plastics in the soil? or the alternate cloth bags that has no ability to hold fluid items (but these bags could be used for other shopping purpose). Although we ban plastic carry bags, still lot of plastic materials as food and beverage empty packages are thrown every day into the trash. In Europe, a systematic scheme called "Compulsory Deposit" governed by 'Deutsche Pfand System GmbH' is organized from 2003 for the collection and deposit clearing of compulsory-deposit of one-way drinks packaging's. The DPG Deposit Scheme supports retailers and drink industry to fulfill the legal requirements of its nation. In these 9 years period they have developed this scheme into a perfect system by making many amendments. This system also mentions about which drink contents in which one-way drinks packaging require a compulsory deposit. They have classified the drinks in to four as 1. Soft drinks (carbonated & non-carbonated), 2. Beer bottles, 3. Mixed alcoholic drinks and 4. Water bottles (carbonated and non-carbonated). Retailers offering only non-reusable drinks packaging's are entitled to draw the attention of their customers to the fact that they do not collect reusable drinks packaging's or drink crates. Non-reusable drinks packaging's made of those types of materials such as glass, plastic, metals, PPK  in the range should be recollected by the retailer regardless to the fact whether it has been sold by him or by his competitor and to refund a small amount for the deposit. In Germany, the reverse vending machines that accepts used beverage containers and returns money to the users were installed in all departmental stores and nowadays we can also see in the road sides of Europe, Japan and many other developed countries in addition to dust bins. People while going for purchase they use to take all empty or used cans to let it recycle also get money for the cans that could be used for their purchase. The mechanism of the reverse vending machine is, when it receives the bottle, it scans, identifies and process it by crushing it to avoid liquid spillage and to increase storage capacity. In India, we do have a scheme in the same name as 'Compulsory Deposit Scheme' (22nd May, Act, 1963) not for the cause of secure environment but to develop nations economy from tax payers. We could also develop such well planned system to keep our environment clean. As a settlers or people living in this pristine Islands, we have less space than our main land to dump non-degradable materials. If you go around our coast during high tide you can see thousands of empty bottles floating on the shore side. Also, in the beach, you can see the broken glasses of alcoholic bottles that could hurt beach walkers or create a feel of discomfort to foreigners and tourists. Especially these broken glasses tear the foot of the children playing in beaches. Practically speaking even if you teach people for a long-term about pollution and the effects of pollution due to dumping of non-degradable materials in the land, they will never stop doing that. But when it is legalized by a organizational framework of the Government, along with a small reward for every deposit, certainly  the mind of people will change and they will keep the environment clean. In India, Bisleri International Pvt Ltd and Inorbit Mall were the first to start a PET bottle collection center in Inorbit Mall,  Vashi, NavyMumbai on 14th February, 2012. That event has also marked the inauguration of India’s first ever plastic bottle recycling machine for the consumers. This kind of initiative by the Government itself will intend to provide an opportunity for the people to recycle PET bottles and be conscious of recycling and ecological sustainability.

Contributed by Dr. J. Benjamin Franklin, Scientist, NIOT