UK wants to copy Norway's bottle recycling system: report

The Local Norway
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UK wants to copy Norway's bottle recycling system: report
File photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB Scanpix

A delegation from authorities in the United Kingdom recently visited Norway to learn about how plastic bottles are recycled in the Scandinavian country.


The BBC reported on Wednesday that the UK is likely to introduce the system used in Norway, known as 'pant'.

Environmental advisors from the British government are enthusiastic about the recycling model used in Scandinavia, including in Norway, saying that it significantly reduces plastic pollution of natural environments.

According to official statistics, 97 percent of plastic bottles in Norway are recycled, although this includes bottles thrown out with refuse that is burned and used to power heating, according to a 2016 Aftenposten report -- a less environmentally friendly practice than the reuse of the bottles returned through the pant system.

Nevertheless, British government representatives have been to Norway with a view to implementing the system, which has existed in Norway since 1992.

The model is based on a small surcharge being paid on every bottle that is bought in Norway. The surcharge, or deposit, is paid back to consumers when bottles are returned via specialised machines, which are located at most supermarkets.

The same system is already used in neighbouring Sweden and Denmark, along with Germany and a number of US and Canadian states.

Kjell Olav Maldum, chief executive of Infinitum, which operates system in Norway, told the BBC the he believed the model was optimal.

"There are other recycling schemes, but we believe ours is the most cost-efficient," Maldum told BBC News.

"We think it could be copied in the UK - or anywhere.

"Our principle is that if drinks firms can get bottles to shops to sell their products, they can also collect those same bottles," Maldum added.

READ ALSO: Tonnes of waste washed up on Norway's shores annually


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