How to learn "mottainai" concept from Pfand - Recycling system of bottles in Germany


I returned Pfand bottles at a super market today and got a voucher, but I forgot to redeem at the casher.

So I would like to introduce a deposit system in Germany today.
if you buy drinks on PET bottles, they have a pfand which means, money for the bottles can be refunded. Pfand bottles can be returned anywhere such as a supermarket.

There is a machine for returning bottles at the supermarket, and you will get a paper receipt like this.


You  can redeem the receipt at a casher if you buy something others. In general, it is 25 cents or 15 centrs depending on size. I got refund 2 euro for 8 large bottles and 15 cents for a small bottle this time.


I think many PET bottles are depositlable, but there are some PET bottle without Pfand, so you have to check whether the bottle is refundable or not. 


Recycling rates for PET bottles in Germany is 93.5 % according to a new 2015 study.




Bottle Deposits Responsible for High PET Recycling Rate in Germany « Recycling « Waste Management World


Japan is a little bit lower, it is 86,9 % of recycling rates in 2015.

We also return the bottles at a supermarket in Japan, but PET bottles don't have Pfand.


I feel a kind of lucky when I get some coins by returning bottles, of course,  I pay for them, so it should be refunded. 


Not every German people are interested in the environment.

However German people keep the material cycle running at a high level by returning bottles.


Somehow this mind and concept is similar to "mottainai".

The word "mottainai" was born in Japan and has been broadened worldwide to reduce your waste.


However, this idea seems to be more suitable for German people.


When I used to live in Japan, I often bought small size of PET bottle from a vending machine.  I didn't want to take a big bottle with me, and I can get another bottle anywhere if you want more.


German people has completely different opinion than me.

They do't care to bring a big bottle such as 1 Little bottle or more from home no matter even if it is heavy or not, because they don't want to get any wate bottle.


Even the bottles are recyclable,the more you buy, the more you produce waste.


I wonder if the Deposit system could start also in Japan.


See you next time!