Edited by Thomas C. Kinnaman and Kenji Takeuchi
Chapter 14: Factors in determining demand for reusable glass bottles
In Japan, the way often used for decreasing the environmental burden is breaking down used products into pieces and turning the pieces into new products, known as "recycling." However, a more effective way to decrease the burden may be washing used products and reusing them - for instance, washing used bottles and refilling them - as inferred from, for example, Mata and Costa (2001). One product that could be reused this way is the glass bottle, for example large bottles such as the 1.8-liter glass bottle. However, the production of glass bottles is decreasing, for example in Japan, from 1 689 000 tons in 2002 to 1 337 000 tons in 2011. Furthermore, small or mid-size glass bottles are increasing, for example, the number of 720ml standardized shape glass bottles in Japan went up from 1 978 162 bottles in 2002 to 7 644 447 bottles in 2010. Small or mid-size bottles tend not to be reused in Japan, almost all of which seem to be recycled, especially when consumers purchase the products contained in the bottles for home consumption. This situation can be considered to come from several reasons: glass bottles are heavy to carry (inferred from National Tax Agency in Japan 2008, p. 12); few places accept used bottles for reuse (National Tax Agency in Japan 2008, p. 40); consumers lack information on issues such as the effectiveness of reusing, reusable containers, and places to return products contained in reusable bottles.
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