Bring back your empty containers, say Valencia Government

DISCARDED: Valencian Community throws away five million containers a day.

THE regional government plans to introduce a deposit return system for bottles and drink containers.

Customers will pay a 10-cent deposit which they will get back when returning glass and plastic bottles, tins and tetra brik containers, explained Elena Cebrian, who heads the Generalitat’s Environment, Climate Change and Rural Affairs department.

The scheme was successfully introduced more than 20 years ago in Germany where 99 per cent of bottles and containers are returned and practically all are recycled. It is hoped that the system can be in place by 2018, she added.


Shops and supermarkets will receive two cents for every bottle and container they accept and store, while another two cents will go to the companies that pick them up. This recompense to Valencian Community businesses should put between €30 and €35 billion in circulation annually. More than seven million bottles and containers are bought in the Valencian community each day, and some five million are thrown away.

This initiative goes beyond mere recycling, Cebrian declared, and is aimed at protecting the countryside and preventing an enormous amount of rubbish from finishing up in the rivers, streambeds, beaches and streets of the Valencian Community.


  1. back to the time of my youth!!!!
    We had a big factory where my father used to go and get ‘POP’ for sunday lunch – he had to pay for the bottle and would get new ones every week- pay for the first return the bottle and no pay.
    When I was first married – I collected bottles and returned them for the money.
    When I first came to spain we had a drinks lorry deliver to the house – you bought the case and bottles and then they were re filled- NO PROBLEM
    Now when I see everything in the road in sight of the recycling container I can’t see it working

  2. I didn’t realise that there was a problem in Spain. I drive 2200k each way every year and I don’t see a problem on the Spanish or French roads its only when you pull off the ferry in the UK that you realise that there is a problem.

  3. This is really good, I remember as a kid me and my mates would go around trying to find empty bottles to get the refund back to by sweets… it would certainly cut back on litter that gets scattered throughout the Spanish countryside along with beer bottles and cans left around the streets, this is something that should be European wide!

  4. We passed Campomar market yesterday on a lovely coastal walk. On the way back, the area the area was full of plastic waste blowing about, much of which had blown down the coastal cliffs out of reach of the refuse collection. Couldn’t the market stallholders be made to be responsible for this plastic polution?


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