Look at this video of a machine in Holland that reads the value of containers and then gives you a credit to use inside the supermarket. They have been in use for at least twenty years.
If you wanted to learn about becoming even more frugal, don’t go past The Netherlands which is very easy to do. It is such a small country. A blink and you have passed it. Mind you, small in size, large elsewhere. I know that fitting twenty people in a VW car involves chucking a sixpence in front of Scottish caber throwers. I believe the same would be achieved in Holland. Perhaps 24 Dutchmen would pile in seeing they are much slimmer.
The frugality has flown into all areas of Dutch life, including the disposal of goods at the end of their used lives.
This from Wikipedia:
Facts and figures
Landfills are used for less than 10% of all waste. Dutch household waste recycling averages to 60% (2006).
The separately gathered organic fraction is 50% of household waste, or 1500 kilotonnes. This is processed to 600 kilotonnes of compost, and the end-product partially exported while over annual national consumption.
In the Netherlands itself, the recycled amount in 2005 was up to 2.5 million tonnes, which is 75% of annual consumption. By contrast, in the EU, over 50% of paper is recycled.
The Dutch have a lot of experience in recycling, stimulated by lack of free grounds and significant government funding. This expertise is sensibly exported. A 2006 article reports Dutch involvement in reform of recycling in the UK.
Elements of the Netherlands National Waste Policy
The Netherlands’ current waste management policy largely focuses on tackling problems at their onset by preventing the production of waste. When waste production cannot be avoided, waste materials are recycled, and non-recyclable waste is disposed via environmentally acceptable means. The main elements of the policy are:
The Netherlands has the highest percentage of household waste recycling in Europe and the lowest level of land filling.
◦Waste Disposal Hierarchy, (aka Landlink’s Ladder)
◦Waste Treatment Standards
◦National Waste Disposal Planning
◦Prevention and Recycling Regulations
Waste Disposal Hierarchy
The main ideas in the Netherlands’ waste policies are represented in a hierarchy model, commonly referred to by the Dutch as Landlink’s Ladder. Named after a member of Dutch parliament who designed it, Landlink’s Ladder applies levels of importance to five core waste management components:
The model serves as a guide for waste management techniques and places prevention at the top of the hierarchy, as most the desirable means. The idea behind prevention is simple: Avoid waste production as much as possible. The second and third components on the hierarchy are product reuse and recovery. These components include packaging and material reuse and the use of waste as fuel.
Fourth on the hierarchy is incineration. All Dutch waste incineration plants produce energy for electricity generation, heating or industrial steam generation. Last, and most avoided on the hierarchy, is the landfill. Waste in the Netherlands is only sent to the landfill after all other options on Landlink’s Ladder have been exhausted.
Because of prevention-of-waste programs, the volume of waste has been growing more slowly than the Netherlands’ Gross Domestic Product since 1995. The main sources of sustainable energy for domestic consumption – which account for 75% of the total amount – are the co-combustion of biomass in power stations, wind energy and energy from waste incineration plants. The Netherlands’ main sources of sustainable energy for domestic consumption – which account for 75 percent of the total amount – are the co-combustion of biomass in power stations, wind energy and energy from waste incineration plants.
Stringent Waste Treatment Standards
The Netherlands practices stringent standards for waste disposal, and landfills are regulated by checking soil and groundwater for pollution. Incinerators are regulated for air emissions, plant construction and the incineration process itself.
Bans on 35 waste-streams from landfills help keep contamination levels low. Any waste-streams that can be recovered or incinerated, such as household waste, organic waste, plastic waste and demolition waste, are not allowed in landfills.
Certain environmental standards are also set to guarantee quality of secondary raw materials made from waste used for building materials, fuel and fertilizer.