But whether it is single-use or multi-use, there’s no getting away from the fact that deposit schemes are still costly. According to one study, the financial burden of introducing such a system could amount to somewhere in the region of EUR 10,500 a year for each individual point of sale. And retailers would need to factor in an additional hour or two for cleaning, maintenance and processing returns each day. There’s no denying that it’s a big outlay for relatively little return. Consumers, too, will have to accept the additional effort needed on their part to take their plastic bottles back if they want to claim their deposit. That said, studies of 10 EU member states with a combined population of 150 million show that around 80% of materials are, in fact, returned following the introduction of a deposit scheme. Put another way, the proportion of packaging that is simply thrown away without a second thought is reduced to about a fifth of the total.