The Culver City, California-based Container Recycling Institute (CRI) has reported the number of people worldwide covered by bottle and can deposit-return systems more than doubled in the decade spanning 2010 to 2019.
In an email designed in part as a fundraising effort, CRI President Susan V. Collins writes that while in the early portion of the 2010s “recycling laws faced an onslaught of attacks,” the years from 2017 to 2019 witnessed a very different pattern.
Collins writes, “In 2017, something amazing happened: the world opened its eyes to the tragedies of plastic pollution, launching a new era of environmental awareness and dedication to a circular economy. In a three-year period, 14 new container deposit laws were passed around the world.”
By the numbers, according to Collins and the CRI, the change between 2010 and 2019 looks like this:
- In 2010, 36 countries and states had container deposit laws, affecting 279 million people;
- In 2019, 58 container deposit laws were in place, affecting 612 million people.
Collins indicates that CRI is working with an “unprecedented number of groups that have reached out to us for help,” and the organization expects policymakers in the United States and overseas to propose or enact additional deposit-return systems in 2020 and beyond.
The CRI describes itself as a nonprofit that provides policy advice on the economic and environmental impacts of used beverage containers and other consumer product packaging.