Reimbursement of aluminum and PET packaging project at a University Campus: a case study

Paper ID: 
Recycling of materials to new products
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISBN:
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
(Corresponding) Castro A., Gomes A., Correia A., Ribeiro H., Queirós A.
Deposit Return Systems were created to increase the recycling rate of single-use beverage containers and meet the recycling targets in European Union. REAP - Recycling and Reimbursement of Aluminum and PET Packaging is an initiative that took place within the scope of the sustainability policies created at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, allowing students and staff to be reimbursed for each PET beverage bottle/ aluminum can returned after consumption. This selective collection reduces the degree of contamination of the waste and increases the quality of the waste to be incorporated into the recycling industry and in the PET packaging production chain. This paper aims to promote reimbursement systems and bottle-to-bottle mechanisms as a measure for sustainability and circular economy. This article analyses the REAP case study monitoring results during the first year. The results indicate an increase in the number of returned packages during the year and return rates of 41% for PET bottles and 26% for aluminum cans in the first year of implementation. The increase in the number of users shows that the project has been a good instrument in raising environmental awareness among the academic community for the importance of packaging separation for subsequent recycling.
Single-use Beverage Containers; Recycled PET; Bottle-to-Bottle; DRS