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White paper - "Rewarding Recycling: Learnings from the World’s Highest-Performing Deposit Return Systems"

Download TOMRA’s new white paper revealing best practices in designing deposit return systems for beverage container recycling

Learn the success factors of the leading deposit return systems

TOMRA DRS white paper

As policymakers and brand owners alike consider how to reduce plastic pollution, recover and reuse more containers, and generally move towards a “circular economy", deposit return systems are being evaluated as a policy tool for their ability to significantly raise beverage container recycling rates.   

TOMRA has over 45 years’ experience innovating and managing deposit return systems in 40 markets. Among the variety of deposit systems are success stories where the objectives and needs of multiple stakeholders are met. By identifying and sharing the framework commonly used to design deposit return policy and systems, this white paper seeks to contribute to an educated discussion on recycling best practice – including what can be learned from the past, and what the future may look like.  

In "Rewarding Recycling: Learnings from the World's Highest-Performing Deposit Return Systems", TOMRA discusses: 

  • What effective deposit return systems deliver
  • The four key principles and twelve elements high-performing deposit return systems share
  • Dozens of case studies on real-world implementation of deposit return policy


TOMRA will provide insight into the success factors for high-performing deposit return systems in a series of quarterly webinars. Join our next webinar, "Rewarding Recycling: Exploring how convenience leads to high-performing deposit return systems", on Thursday 30 September at 9am US EST / 3pm CET. (You can also view the previous webinar in the series on best practices, which provides an executive summary of the "Rewarding Recycling" white paper.) Please get in touch if you would like to discuss the white paper further.


Discover the 12 elements of the leading deposit return systems:


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Element #1: Broad scope of beverages and containers
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Element #2: Minimum deposit value
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Element #3: Return-rate target
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Element #4: Convenient redemption system for consumers
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Element #5: Separately charged and fully refundable deposits
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Element #6: Container deposit markings for consumers and manual returns, barcodes for accurate accounting
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Element #7: Extended producer responsibility financing
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Element #8: Reinvestment of unredeemed deposits and material revenue within the system
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Element #9: Recycled content requirements
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Element #10: Centralized, non-profit administration and operations
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Element #11: Government reporting and consumer communications
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Element #12: Government enforcement


Learnings from the world's highest-performing deposit return systems
TOMRA_Rewarding_Recycling_5.pdf ( (8,9 MB))

Rewarding Recycling: introductory booklet

Short introduction to the full Rewarding Recycling white paper
TOMRA_Rewarding_Recycling introductory booklet.pdf ( (3,26 MB))

Rewarding Recycling: white paper (German)

Erfahrungswerte aus den effizientesten Pfandsystemen der Welt
TOMRA Rewarding Recycling - German.pdf ( (10,52 MB))

Rewarding Recycling: White Paper (Italian)

Buone pratiche dai sistemi di deposito cauzionale più efficienti del mondo
TOMRA Rewarding Recycling - Italian.pdf ( (2,5 MB))

Rewarding Recycling: White Paper (Polish)

Wnioski płynące z funkcjonowania najbardziej skutecznych systemów kaucyjnych na świecie
TOMRA Rewarding Recycling - Polish.pdf ( (10,46 MB))

Rewarding Recycling: White Paper (Slovak)

Čo sa môžeme naučiť od najefektívnejších systémov zálohovania nápojových obalov na svete? (zhrnutie)
TOMRA Rewarding Recycling - Slovak.pdf ( (1,71 MB))
Learn from the world’s highest-performing deposit return systems. Please register to download.
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