Our report draws on data from 93 countries, over a 20 year period, to examine trends in sales, collection and wastage of drinks containers, where wastage is defined as containers ending up in landfill, incineration, or in the environment. The countries included comprise 81% of the world’s population as of 2019.
What We Waste
Report tracking 20 years of growth in international drinks container wastage, and how refillables and deposit return systems can reverse this trend.
In particular, it considers the relationship between wastage rates and the beverage industry’s shift from refillable bottles to single-use drinks packaging, and the measures that can be used to limit that wastage. It looks at the impact the implementation of a deposit return system can have, and the effect of a strong refillable market share – and how both can work together.
Alongside a series of key findings and recommendations, our analysis shows that, on average, the countries with the least wastage per person collect their beverage containers via a deposit return system, both for single-use and refillable containers. Encouragingly, even when adopted alone, both refillable systems and deposit return still show marked impacts on wastage.