When it comes to convenience, Norway provides 15,000 redemption points for its population of just 5.33 million. That’s one for every 355 people, most of which are at local supermarkets, which makes container return a quick and easy act that has become part of consumers’ regular routines. As a result, Norway’s DRS has one of the highest return rates in the world.
Even so, unredeemed deposits are still enough to cover 49% of the system’s costs, with material sales covering a further 35%. Only 8% of the costs of the DRS are covered by an EPR fee applied to products entering the market, with the remaining 8% coming from other sources, mostly interest.
In Norway’s DRS, which was voluntarily established by beverage and retail industries, EPR fees are based on the cost of recycling each container type, as well as their material value. The fees are so specific that they even differentiate between clear and colored plastic bottles. The revenue streams associated with aluminum cans, meanwhile, are high enough to avoid any additional EPR fee being applied.