The plant will process the PET bottles and aluminium cans collected throughout the country via the return system, producing bales of PET bottles and aluminium cans for recycling. With a capacity of 110 m 3 per hour, it is expected to process around 55% of the country’s recycled cans and PET bottles for a total of more than 25,000 tonnes of material a year, working 16 hours a day on two shifts, for 300 days a year.
A successful private-public collaboration for a circular economy
Dansk Retursystem is a non-profit company owned by Danish breweries and regulated by statutory order under the Danish Environmental Protection Act. Founded in 2000, it operates the country’s deposit and return system for beverage bottles and cans with the aim of recycling as many as possible into new ones. All profits are reinvested into the company to improve the system and ensure that the high return rate is maintained or raised even further. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency monitors Dansk Retursystem’s activities and periodically reviews its operation to renew its exclusive right to operate the country’s deposit and return system for a new term.
Dansk Retursystem is an excellent example of a successful collaboration between the private and public sectors. Its business model creates a circular economy that involves the entire chain: beverage packaging manufacturers, breweries, retailers, consumers, transport companies, and sorting recycling companies. Dansk Retursystem collects bottles and cans from reverse vending machines found at 3000 stores across the country, from retailers, shops, offices, cafés and restaurants, or through the “pantstation” deposit return banks located in 12 cities. It sorts all the collected packaging into glass and plastic bottles and aluminium cans, which are recycled into new packaging. The result of this extremely effective system is that 9 out of 10 bottles marked for deposit are returned and recycled, with very little waste in the process.