While the rest of the world looks up in wonder, the small country, Lithuania, came up with a recycling plan that people could not stop themselves from following. It combined the lure of a sale, the concept of a voucher, and the context of making the environment safer together.
According to Lithuania’s recycling scheme, a circular economy is created in which first €0.10 is charged as tax. Then, by offering a €0.10 return voucher to the people who give back plastic bottles and aluminum cans to a reverse vending machine placed outside or inside the stores, a further purchase is encouraged. These vouchers could be used to get a rebate or discount on future purchases.
This system increases the sale in stores by driving traffic which persuades the store owners to implement this system and also motivates the customers to opt for recycling. The Lithuanian government is the perfect example of implementing corporate marketing strategies to the community or, in this case, the environment-friendly practices.
File photo by Mr. Tin DC, CC
The European Union Average for plastic recycling has been exceeded by Lithuania alone by 44 percent. Not just that, this accomplishment, of setting a 74 percent plastic recycling, has been achieved in just 2 years. With this astoundingly simple system, they have now set the bar at 91.9 percent on the recycling of all bottles and cans. This deposit-refund program covers all aluminum, glass, and plastic containers.
USAD, an NGO in Lithuania, which contributed to the designing of the system estimated the recycling rate to reach 55 percent. However, by the end of only the first year, they long surpassed their goal and hit the 74.3 percent mark. 97 percent of the consumers have been recorded as being satisfied with the system while the amount of waste recycled could easily make up the mass of Eiffel Tower six times over.
Saulius Galadauskas, who heads the Lithuanian Brewers Association and is also the chairperson of USAD, said that the scheme was developed because of the obligation that he felt as a citizen of Lithuania and as a resident of the world. His sense of responsibility compelled him to take care not only of the people of Lithuania but also of its environment.
He also expressed how he would love to see the citizens contribute to the development of Lithuania in this regard. He would like for Lithuania to become a nature-preserving modern country.
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