A report published today by Denmark's environmental assessment institute (IMV) casts doubt on the cost-effectiveness and environmental value of deposits on one-way drinks containers designed to maximise recycling. The system has only just been introduced after the government was forced to rescind a ban on metal drinks cans designed to promote refillables (EED 27/08/02).
IMV's intervention reinforces the iconoclastic reputation of its director, the "sceptical environmentalist" Bjørn Lomborg. Denmark's environmental protection agency denounced the study today, accusing the institute of being "too hasty" and of overlooking three important points: prevention of litter in the countryside, the fact that metal cans cannot be burned to recover energy and that the return system ensures achievement of EU minimum recycling rates for packaging.
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