Are bottle banks sufficiently effective for increasing glass recycling rates?

Elbert Dijkgraaf, Raymond Gradus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


The Netherlands is a frontrunner in the EU regarding the circular economy. On a national scale, there are higher targets than the EU for different packaging materials as plastics, glass, pa-per/cartons, and aluminium. For glass, the government advocates a recycling rate of more than 90%. In 2017, the rate realised was 86%. To reach this 4% higher goal, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate wants to improve the collection infrastructure by increasing the number of bottle banks, with 800 by 2021. However, in the literature, an effectiveness analysis is lacking. Based on empirical evidence with data from 2007–2019, we show that increasing the number of bottle banks is not effective. Implementing a unit-based pricing system as a priced bag or container for unsorted waste can be more effective in achieving this goal, although this can have serious drawbacks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9540
Number of pages11
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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