Norwegians rank high in dutifully turning in their used drink cans and plastic bottles at local grocery stores, and getting the deposit fee they paid on purchase refunded (called pant). Now environmental officials want to raise the deposit fee, to encourage even more people from simply throwing their bottles away.
“Maybe some folks think that returning their bottle doesn’t mean much,” Randi Haavik Varberg of the bottle deposit firm Infinitum told state broadcaster NRK. She said the total amount of reimbursement that’s not realized can add up to around NOK 150 million.
Most returnable bottles and cans currently have a deposit of NOK 1, with larger bottles charged NOK 2.50. The state environmental directorate wants to boost that to NOK 2 for bottles up to a half-liter in size, and to NOK 3 for bottles over a half-liter.
Around 90 percent of all bottles are returned at present, and higher deposits can provide an incentive to return even more, it’s argued. “We’re hoping for 100 percent one day,” said Varberg.