Stockholm June 15, 2012
Container Deposit Legislation [CDL] is soon to be adopted throughout the European Union and it would do best building on the success of the CDL in Sweden. The aim of CDL is to improve the efficiency of recycling, reducing the impact at the landfill, it targets beverage packaging sorting, where a nominal deposit provides an economic incentive to clean it up. By taking the packaging back to the supermarket or recycling center the bearer may redeem the deposit.
Practically all consumption-ready soft drinks, alcohol and other cold beverages sold in Sweden have a deposit or “pant”. A pant is often mistakenly referred to as a tax. “A pant is not a tax because you get it back” Says SOLIDEA’s Steve Walker “and now, its not only beverages, many kinds of aseptic packaging may also now carry pants”.
After two decades of Waste Etiquette [WE] education and the introduction of pants Sweden demonstrates exceptional WE, as much as 99% of glass, more than 84% of plastic bottles and over 90% of cans avoid the landfill and are recycled in Sweden every year. We can compare the success of pants with newer member states of the EU who recycle less than 3%.
Swedes are particularly proud of their pant system. Since three or more generations of Swedes have grown up with an exceptional WE education level “recycling is as much part of Swedish culture as Smörgåsbord, Knäckebröd or Snus” Says Steve Walker “it is a very stark difference to Central Europe where WE education is poor and there is almost no recycling”.
Introducing a pant system at national level is costly, it puts up the price of low cost drinks; it alienates part of the distribution and retail chain and there is a lot of capital outlay for mechanical and electrical equipment required to manage such a program. The big question in a less tolerant, less educated Europe, is how can such a program be funded?
Some countries in the European Union have already followed somewhat the Swedish lead, to introduce pants and recycling centers and through larger, local supermarket chains. But many other countries are insisting that the change will increase the cost of living, be the cause of inflation and be met with hostile public opinion and negativity.
In view of this SOLIDEA are developing a new renewable strategy with supermarkets which could introduce a pant without increasing cost. “We are calling it the SOLIDEA Watergy Strategy says Dr. Janusz Prezeorek SOLIDEA’s President. “We think that the answer is introducing renewable local water and bottling plants at supermarkets”.
SOLIDEA renewable Watergy Strategy will significantly reduce the cost of many beverages because the water is sourced and bottled locally. “It allows bigger supermarket chains with their own brand beverages to develop those products to sell them better packaged at lower cost.” Says Steve Walker who thinks the idea could really catch on “We are already engaged in discussion with one soft drink company about the marketability of Cola Air”.
Supermarkets in Sweden unlike elsewhere demonstrate a huge selection of bottled soft drinks on supermarket shelves everywhere; its combining a local bottling plant and pant system that makes this choice possible. Beverages are still sold today in the same small capped bottles which became a standardized container in Sweden in 1885. Bottled drinks are selected from the shelf and taken home in plastic crate, after consumption both the bottle and the crate are returned to be refilled or for the deposit. Reuse reduces recycling and is far better for the environment than reprocessing.
Bottling locally with a pant system in Sweden unmistakably reduced cost, it improved the quality of the product and its packaging and ensures proper supply. Svensk Glas Återvinning holds the European current record for reuse and recycling. The record held by the Swedish company exceeds 99% for recycling all its glass packaging.
With renewable energy as a source, pure water is extracted from the atmosphere it is dowsed, mineralized and bottled as mineral water. It can also be mixed with a concentrate of the beverage or its syrup, carbonated, capped or packed and put directly on the shelves as a consumption ready beverage.
SOLIDEA Watergy Strategy and its payback period is short and free, pure water production could be introduced at a national or on a European wide level to subsidize a pant on every beverage pack and making it good economical sense from the outset.
Most supermarkets have bakeries they prepare, cook and deliver fresh foods on site adopting SOLIDEA Watergy Strategy is not space consuming, the the bulk of the AirWell+ bottling plant lives on the roof, and even a large set up takes up less space and uses less energy than a typical instore bakery.
There are many thousands of shopping centers in the European Union with Supermarkets as their anchor, and many of these shopping centers produce more than 4 tons of Municipal Solid Waste [MSW] per day. “Shopping center MSW is ideal feedstock for SOLIDEA PowerCan® 200 CHP units which when installed with AirWell+ can produce over 10,000 liters of water per day” Says Dr. Janusz Prezeorek “turning MSW into water is the basic alchemy of our Watergy Strategy“.
Supermarkets really benefit from SOLIDEA’s AirWell+ as they can reduce the volume and weight of the products they have on the shelves by 12% to 15% and by adopting PowerCan® 200 CHP making their MSW extinct in the process they can really make a positive environmental impact upping their green image in the process .
Condensing water locally produces pure water, the impurities contained in even the most expensive designer waters can be avoided using AirWell+. SOLIDEA are able to work with flavoring designers and food scientists to replicate any designer water from the rooftop of a supermarket even make it better. Cost savings from producing fluid content on site can be unlimited and most easily compensate for pants.
“Extracting water from the atmosphere using renewable energy is probably one of the greenest and most sustainable things you can do right now its certainly the future; we need embrace this sooner rather than later” says Steve Walker