Home

Refillable Beverage Containers---Background Reading

Saphire, David. Case Reopened: Reassessing Refillable Bottles. New York: INFORM, Inc., 1994. 348 pages.
This book compares the effects of refillable and non-refillable containers on solid waste, energy consumption, air pollution, and water pollution. It also discusses the history and economics of beverage containers, describes the conditions in which refilling thrives, and suggests ways to revive refilling in the U.S. Saphire's book provides a useful background for anyone who is interested in refillable beverage containers and how refilling can help reduce the environmental impacts of packaging. To read the executive summary, click here .
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Beverage Containers: Reuse or Recycling. Paris: OECD, 1978. 159 pages.
This report examines the impacts of different types of beverage containers on waste generation, natural resource consumption, and environmental pollution. It also discusses the effectiveness of policies that specifically address these impacts, including the policies that this web site covers. To see the recommendations that came from this study, click here .
Citizens' Network on Waste Management (CNWM). A Strategy to Promote Refillables and Reuse in Ontario. Kitchener, Ontario: CNWM, 1997. 27 pages.
This report recommends steps that the government of Ontario can take toward increasing the use of refillable beverage containers in the province. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the various policy instruments that can be used to promote refilling. To obtain a free copy of this report, click here .
Golding, Andreas. Reuse of Primary Packaging. Brussels: European Commission, 1999. Main report, 106 pages.
This study examines the reuse of post-consumer packaging in several European Union member states, focusing especially on the refilling of beverage containers. It discusses the amounts and types of reusable packaging on the market; systems for reuse; the costs, constraints, and obstacles to further reuse; and ways to promote the reuse of packaging. The main report also provides much useful background information about refilling, especially the logistics. Click here to read the preface or here to go directly to the report.

Refillable Beverage Containers---Economics

RDC-Environment and Pira International. Evaluation of Costs and Benefits for the Achievement of Reuse and the Recycling Targets for the Different Packaging Materials in the Frame of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC. (Draft) Brussels: European Commission, 2001. 341 pages.
This report presents cost-benefit analyses of systems for managing packaging waste in Europe. It analyzes recycling, reuse, landfilling, and incineration by assigning monetary values to the environmental impacts of each of these waste management options. The analysis of packaging reuse includes a comparison of refillable to one-way PET plastic bottles and a comparison of refillable to one-way glass bottles. The results of this study will provide background information to help the European Commission revise its packaging recovery targets. Click here to read the preface or here to download a draft of the report.
European Environmental Bureau (EEB). EEB Comments on the Draft Final Report Evaluation of Costs and Benefits for the Achievement of Reuse and the Recycling Targets for the Different Packaging Materials in the Frame of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC. Brussels: EEB, 2001.
This document presents some comments about the RDC-Environment and Pira International cost-benefit-analysis study of systems for managing packaging waste in Europe. The EEB is a federation of 134 grassroots environmental organizations from all European Union Member States and other European countries. Click here [pdf] to find this document.
"EUROPEN Warns of Limitations of Latest Cost/Benefit Study." EUROPEN Bulletin September 2001: 5.
This article presents EUROPEN's criticisms of the RDC-Environment and Pira International study. EUROPEN, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, is an industry and trade organization which voices industry's views about packaging and the environment. Click here [pdf] to obtain this issue of their bulletin.
Gesellschaft für Umfassende Analysen (GUA), GmbH. Volkswirtschaftlicher Vergleich von Einweg- und Mehrwegsystemen. Vienna: Austrian Ministry of Environment, 2000. 296 pages.
In August of 1999, the Austrian government and the beverage industry commissioned this study in order to obtain information that could contribute to the discussion about quotas for beverage containers in Austria. By examining the economic and the environmental costs and benefits, this study compares one-way containers to refillable containers. Like the RDC-Environment and Pira International study, the GUA study is a cost-benefit analysis. The study and its summary are available only in German.
Valiante, Usman. "Pamper Your PET: Eco-efficiency and Refillable Plastic Bottles." Solid Waste & Recycling 2.6 (1997): 18.
This article explains the costs and benefits of using refillable PET bottles in the North-American soft-drink market.

Refillable Beverage Containers---Environmental Aspects

Chalmers Industriteknik and Institute for Product Development. Life Cycle Assessment of Packaging Systems for Beer and Soft Drinks. Environmental Project No. 399. Copenhagen: Danish Environmental Protection Agency, 1998. 382 pages.
This report presents life-cycle analysis (LCA) studies of the environmental impacts of glass and PET bottles and of steel and aluminum cans. This set of LCA studies is an update of a study that the DEPA completed in 1996. This 1998 report also presents an introductory explanation of LCAs. To download the main report, click here [pdf - 12 MB] . This project also produced reports by container type: [pdf - all following...] refillable glass bottles, one-way glass bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, refillable PET bottles, and one-way PET bottles. Another report describes the related energy and transport scenarios. All of these individual reports are in PDF files, the largest of which is almost 6 mb.
Prognos GmbH, Institut für Energie und Umweltforschung Heidelberg, Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung mbH, Pack Force, and the German Federal Environment Agency. Ökobilanz für Getränkeverpackung II Berlin: German Federal Environment Agency, 2000. 414 pages.
This life-cycle analysis study investigated packaging systems for wine and for several types of nonalcoholic beverages. It included refillable glass and refillable PET bottles, one-way glass bottles, aluminum and tinplate cans, and cartons. Click here [off-site] to download a summary and background of this study and here for a press release, both of which are written in German. For more information, or to obtain a German-language copy of the study with an English-language summary, contact Thomas Hagbeck of the German Federal Environment Agency at thomas.hagbeck@uba.de.
Lachance, Renuad, and Paul Lanoie. Refillable and Disposable Beer Containers: An Analysis of the Environmental Impacts. Montreal: École des Hautes Études Commerciales, 1999. 76 pages.
This paper compares eleven different life-cycle analysis studies of beverage containers and evaluates each study's relevance to Quebec's use of aluminum cans, one-way glass bottles, and refillable glass bottles for beer packaging. Tables in the appendix display detailed information about the assumptions and findings of these studies.
"Are Refillable Bottles Better for the Environment?" Hazardous Materials Management 8.4 (1995): 92.
This commentary briefly discusses the role of life-cycle analysis studies in the debate over refillable beverage containers.
Bojkow, Egon. Getränkeverpackung und Umvelt: Auswirkungen der Verpackung von Getränken und Flüssigen Molkereiprodukten auf die Umvelt. Wien: Springer, 1989. 355 pages.
Professor Bojkow's book, published in German, discusses the environmental aspects of beverage containers.

Refillable Beverage Containers---Policies

Macdonald, Doug. "Beer Cans, Gas Guzzlers and Green Taxes: How Using Tax Instead of Law May Affect Environmental Policy." Alternatives 22.3 (1996): 12.
This paper explains the development of Ontario's 10-cent levy on non-refillable beer containers. Using this particular policy as an example, Macdonald discusses how the revenue-generating potential of environmental taxes can influence a government's selection of a policy to address a particular environmental problem. Doug Macdonald, Ph.D., author of The Politics of Pollution, is a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Toronto's Innis College. The InfoTrac database, which is available in many public libraries, has the full article.
European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN). Economic Instruments in Packaging and Packaging Waste Policy. Brussels: EUROPEN, 2000. 22 pages.
This essay presents EUROPEN's position on several economic instruments--eco-taxes, deposit laws, government subsidies, and others--that are used to address the environmental impacts of packaging. Although it is tainted with the opinions of the packaging industry, this essay raises a few important concerns about some of these economic instruments.
Levy, Geoffrey M., Ed. Packaging, Policy, and the Environment. Gaithersburg, Maryland: Aspen Publishers, Inc., 2000. 410 pages.
From the perspective of the packaging industry, this book discusses the use of policy instruments to address the environmental impacts of packaging and packaging waste. Topics include reuse, recycling, life-cycle analysis, producer responsibility, the social and environmental aspects of packaging, and packaging policies in many parts of the world.
Research Triangle Institute. The Beverage Container Problem: Analysis and Recommendations. Washington: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1972. 190 pages.
This study examined the beverage container litter problems of the early 1970s, when cans and one-way bottles had conquered over half of the soft-drink market. The report discusses federal, state, and local policies that had been enacted or that were being proposed.

Refillable Beverage Containers---Canada

Crittenden, Guy. "The Blue Box Conspiracy." The Next City 3.9 (1997): 34.
This article summarizes the decline of refilling in the North American soft-drink industry, criticizes many of Canada's deposit-return systems, exposes the pitfalls of Ontario's curbside recycling programs, and concludes with a discussion about refilling. To download a copy of this article and readers' responses to it, click here . Mr. Crittenden is the editor-in chief of the Canadian journal Solid Waste & Recycling.
Prince Edward Island Office of Legislative Counsel. Environmental Protection Act. (consolidation) Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Island Information Service, 2001.
The Environmental Protection Act of Prince Edward Island authorizes the province's ban on non-refillable beverage containers. To download a copy of this legislation, click here .
"Environmental Protection Act: Litter Control Regulations Amendment." Royal Gazette [Prince Edward Island] 7 Aug. 1999, Part II: 83.
This amendment specifies which containers are considered refillable by the Litter Control Regulations of the Environmental Protection Act. To download a copy of this amendment, click here .
Menzies, David. "The Green, Green, Glass of Home." Canadian Business 10 Sept. 1999: 48.
This wonderful article discusses Prince Edward Island's ban on non-refillable beverage containers and explains how the ban has helped the island's only bottler, Seaman's Beverages, thrive in an industry dominated by the soft-drink giants. The article discusses Seaman's use of refillable bottles and presents a company profile. The InfoTrac database, which is available in many public libraries, has the full article.
Morawski, Clarissa. "P.E.I.'s Beverage Container Program." Solid Waste & Recycling 4.5 (1999): 16.
This article gives a brief history of Prince Edward Island's ban on non-refillable soft-drink and beer containers, describes the province's deposit-return systems, and mentions its curbside recycling program. The article also discusses the popularity of the ban on non-refillable soft-drink containers, the industry's opposition to it, and the possibility of bans on non-refillable containers of other types of non-alcoholic beverages. Ms. Morawski is the principal of CM Consulting in Toronto and an expert in extended producer responsibility.
Government of the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Acts of New Brunswick, Chapter B-2.2: Beverage Containers Act. (unofficial consolidation) Fredericton, New Brunswick: Queen's Printer of New Brunswick, 2000.
To download this document, click here .
Flaherty, Lora. "New Brunswick Law Brings Back Pop Bottle Debate." Alternatives 19.2 (1993): 11.
This article describes New Brunswick's Beverage Containers Act, which features the half-back deposit, and tells how the soft-drink industry persuaded lawmakers to weaken much of the original legislation. Flaherty also discusses the debate in Ontario between the soft-drink industry, which favors recycling, and advocates of refilling. The InfoTrac database, which is available in many public libraries, has the full article.
Morawski, Clarissa. "'R and R' in Quebec." Solid Waste & Recycling 4.3 (1999): 26.
This article discusses beverage container recovery in Quebec and describes the deposit-return system for refillable beer bottles.
Government of the province of Quebec, Canada. The Environment Quality Act. R.S.Q., Chapter Q-2.
Under Section 70 of this law, beer and soft-drink companies may choose to have their containers regulated as hazardous materials. To download a copy, click here or here .
Government of the province of Quebec, Canada. An Act Respecting the Sale and Distribution of Beer and Soft Drinks in Non-returnable Containers. R.S.Q., Chapter V-5.001.
This law allows soft-drink and beer companies to choose one of two options for having their non-refillable containers regulated in Quebec. To download a copy, click here .
Government of the province of Quebec, Canada. Minister of the Environment. Agreement relating to the Consignment, Recovery and Recycling of Non-Refillable Beer Containers.
This agreement between the Minister of the Environment, Recyc-Quebec, the Quebec Brewers Association, and other parties became effective on January 1, 2001. The agreement specifies the deposits for beer in non-refillable containers, a quota on the sales of beer in non-refillable containers, and the fines for exceeding the quota. This agreement is available in both English and French .
Government of the province of Ontario, Canada. Liquor Licence Act--Manufacturers' Licences. Revised Regulations of Ontario 1990, Regulation 720. Toronto: Publications Ontario, 1998.
This set of regulations specifies the components of Ontario's 10-cent levy on non-refillable beer and alcoholic beverage containers. To download a copy, click here or here .
Menzies, David. "Kicking the Can." Canadian Business 24 Sept. 1999: 14.
This amusing article recounts the aluminum industry's 1999 advertising campaign, which promoted the aluminum beer can and attacked the refillable glass bottle. It explains why Ontario's beer industry prefers refillables and mentions the provincial government's support of its 10-cent levy on non-refillable beer containers. The InfoTrac database, which is available in many public libraries, has the full article.
Menzies, David. "Waste Blues." The Financial Post Sept. 1997: 36.
This article exposes the pitfalls of Ontario's curbside recycling programs and explains the debate in Ontario between the soft-drink industry, which favors these programs, and advocates of refilling.
Valiante, Usman. "Billions of Bottles of Beer on the Wall: The Brewer's Retail 98% Recovery Rate Reduces Costs." Hazardous Materials Management 8.4 (1995): 92.
This article discusses how Brewers Retail, Inc., Ontario's primary beer retailer, has reduced its costs by reusing or recycling much of its secondary and transport packaging along with recovering cans and refillable bottles. Valiante explains the crucial role that this retailer's deposit-return system has in its packaging recovery operations.
Canada--Import, Distribution, and Sale of Certain Alcoholic Drinks by Provincial Marketing Agencies. Report by the GATT Panel, 18 February 1992 (DS17/R - 39S/279). Washington: Organization of American States, 1999.
This report documents the proceedings before a GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) panel regarding U. S. brewers' access to the Canadian beer market. One of the issues was Ontario's levy on beer containers.

Refillable Beverage Containers---Europe

ARGUS, ACR, and Carl Bro A/S. European Packaging Waste Management Systems. Brussels: European Commission, 2001. 397 pages.
This study describes how each European Union Member State manages its packaging waste through reuse, recycling, and source reduction. The preface to the report, the executive summary , and the main report are all available from the European Commission web site.
ECOTEC Research and Consulting, et. al. Study on the Economic and Environmental Implications of the Use of Environmental Taxes and Charges in the European Union and its Member States. Brussels: European Commission, 2001. 418 pages.
This report provides useful background information about eco-taxes and evaluates the economic and environmental effects of eco-taxes in the EU Member States. The packaging and beverage container taxes of Sweden, Finland, and Denmark are discussed. To download various parts of the report, select any of the following links: the preface , which has links to all parts of the report; the executive summary and table of contents ; an overview ; the chapter about packaging taxes ; a tabular summary ; and the conclusions of the report.
Golding, Andreas. Reuse of Primary Packaging. Brussels: European Commission, 1999. Country-by-country report, 117 pages.
This study examines the reuse of post-consumer packaging in several European Union member states, focusing especially on the refilling of beverage containers. It discusses the amounts and types of reusable packaging on the market; systems for reuse; the costs, constraints, and obstacles to further reuse; and ways to promote the reuse of packaging. Click here to read the preface of the report and here to download the report itself.
Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Statutory Order No. 124 of February 27, 1989 on Packaging for Beer and Soft Drinks, as Amended by Statutory Order No. 540 of July 9, 1991.
This law requires non-refillable containers for all domestic beer, soft drinks, and carbonated mineral water and specifies the criteria by which the Danish EPA approves new containers. The law also regulates the packaging of imported beverages, whose containers cannot be made of metal. To download a copy of this law, click here [html -> doc] and follow the link to "Ministerial Orders in Force" and then to "Waste and soil in force".
Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Statutory Order No. 300 of 30 April 1997.
This amendment to Statutory Orders No. 124 and No. 540 clarifies the legal definition of "mineral water." To download a copy of this amendment, follow the links that are given above for 124 and 540 (DOC).
Government of Denmark. Statutory Order No. 1292 of December 20, 2000. Lov om Ændring af Lov om Afgift af Visse Emballager Samt Visse Poser af Papir Eller Plast m.v. og Lov om Forskellige Forbrugsafgifter og om Ophævelse af Lov om Visse Miljøafgifter. Copenhagen: Retsinformation, 2000.
This law, which specifies Denmark's LCA-based packaging taxes, was scheduled to become effective on April 1, 2001. To download a copy of this law in Danish, click here .
"Packaging for Soft Drinks, Beer, Wine, and Spirits." Faktuelt 18 Jan. 1999.
This article explains Denmark's ban on non-refillable containers for soft drinks and beer and many other aspects of refilling in that country. Faktuelt is published in Danish by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and some articles are available in English from Miljøbutikken , the ministry's information center.
Sakakeeny, Kaleel. "Denmark's Bottle Boom." Beverage World International Dec. 1993: 76.
This article discusses the political, logistical, environmental, cultural, and historical aspects of beverage packaging in Denmark.
Duales System Deutschland, AG. Packaging Ordinance (Verpack V).
When Germany enacted this law in 1991, that nation became the first to hold manufacturers responsible for managing their packaging and packaging waste. Regarding beverage packaging, the ordinance establishes quotas on the volume of packaged beverages that must be in refillable containers. Click here to obtain a copy of the ordinance.
"Germany in Hot Water Over Packaging Waste Law." European Report 31 Mar. 2001: 487.
This article discusses the European Commission's view of Germany's 72 percent quota as a trade barrier to importers of natural mineral water. It also recounts the experiences of European mineral water bottlers with Germany's beverage container laws. The InfoTrac database, which is available in many public libraries, has the full article.
Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning, and the Environment. Packaging Covenant II.
Under this agreement, which is set to expire at the end of 2001, any manufacturer or importer who puts packaging on the market in the Netherlands must reduce or recycle its post-consumer and industrial packaging waste. Regarding beverage packaging, the covenant requires bottlers and importers to use their existing refilling systems unless they can demonstrate that replacing them with one-way packaging systems is better for the environment. An unofficial translation of the covenant is available from the ministry's web site .
Ministry of the Environment. [Norway] Product Control Act.
This law authorizes the Norwegian government to regulate beverage containers. An unofficial translation of the law and related background information are available from the web site of the Pollution Control Authority.
Ministry of the Environment. [Norway] "Regulations Relating to Return Systems for Beverage Packaging." (T-1000)
This booklet explains the regulations of Norway's deposit-return systems and summarizes how the government uses the return rates to set the amounts of the beverage container taxes. To order a free copy of this booklet, click here .
Institute for Applied Ecology. Waste Prevention and Minimisation. Brussels: European Commission, 1999. 119 pages.
This report documents some of the best practices in Europe for reducing both municipal and industrial waste, including hazardous waste. One of the report's case studies describes the reuse of champagne bottles in Spain. Click here to read the preface and here to read the report.

Deposit-Return Systems

Container Recycling Institute. Beverage Container Reuse and Recycling in Canada. Arlington, Virginia: Container Recycling Institute, 1998. 48 pages.
This report describes how Canada's ten provinces and two territories are reducing beverage container waste. While it focuses mostly on deposit-return systems, the report also briefly discusses policies that promote refilling. To see an executive summary, click here .
Comptroller General of the United States. States' Experience with Beverage Container Deposit Laws Shows Positive Benefits. Washington: U. S. General Accounting Office, 1980. 67 pages.
This report tells how beverage container deposit laws affected refilling in Maine and in Michigan. It also presents updates of findings from a 1977 General Accounting Office report about the impact of a nationwide beverage container deposit law.
Comptroller General of the United States. Potential Effects of a National Mandatory Deposit on Beverage Containers. Washington: U. S. General Accounting Office, 1977.
This study investigated the environmental and economic impacts of a federal deposit law for soft-drink and beer containers.

The Beverage Industry

"CSD Packaging 2000." Beverage World June 2001: 37.
This trade publication annually dedicates its June issue to articles about current trends in beverage packaging.

"1980 Beverage Packaging Mix." Beverage World June 1981: 44.

Zylstra, Peter. The Beverage Industries: Two Markets. Report 32-251-XIE. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1999.
Using data from the 1997 Annual Survey of Manufacturers, this Statistics Canada report discusses trends in that country's beverage industries and briefly mentions packaging. To download a free copy, click here .
Louis, J. C., and Harvey Yazijian. The Cola Wars. New York: Everest House, 1980. 372 pages.
Although this book focuses mainly on the competition between Coke and Pepsi, it also recounts the rise of one-way containers and the consolidation of the soft-drink industry. (These two trends drove the decline of refillable bottles in the U. S.) The book also recounts the evolution of beverage container deposit laws in the U. S. and their effects on refilling.
Giles, Geoff A., Ed. Handbook of Beverage Packaging. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, L.L.C., 1999. 397 pages.
This book explains the properties of various types of beverage containers, describes refilling processes, and briefly covers life-cycle analysis. The book was written for packaging and beverage industry professionals who want a broad knowledge of beverage packaging technology.
Woodroof, Jasper Guy, and G. Frank Phillips. Beverages: Carbonated and Noncarbonated. Westport, Connecticut: Avi Publishing Company, Inc., 1981. 592 pages.
This book describes the production and marketing of beverages, with an emphasis on non-alcoholic beverages, and includes a chapter which describes the development of the different types of containers for carbonated soft drinks.
United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Soft Drink Manufacturing. 1997 Economic Census: Manufacturing Industry Series. Report EC97M-3121A. Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 1999. 33 pages.
This report presents several statistics about the soft-drink industry and includes estimates of the quantities of soft drinks that were shipped in refillable glass bottles and in other container types. The bureau will conduct its next economic census in 2002.
Muris, Timothy J., Scheffman, David T., and Pablo T. Spiller. Strategy, Structure, and Antitrust in the Carbonated Soft-Drink Industry. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books, 1993. 260 pages.
This book thoroughly analyzes the consolidation of the soft-drink industry and tells how the industry restructured itself to adapt to national advertising and promotion strategies, multiple products and packages, and a sophisticated customer base. (Consolidation made refilling less economical.)