Back in Australia, recycling your PET bottles goes something like this – put the empty bottle in your recycling bin. Simple.
In Germany things are a little more complicated but ultimately cooler. In Germany you pay a pfand (deposit) of about 15 cents for a 500mL bottle or 25 cents for a 1.5 litre bottle. However, you get your pfand back when you deposit your empty bottle in a bottle recycling machine that are found in every single supermarket.
Here’s the drill. Collect all your empty PET bottles in a plastic bag. Take said bottle filled plastic bag with you to the supermarket. Insert each bottle into the machine making sure the barcode is facing up (that instruction was fun to translate the 1st time I attempted bottle recycling). Watch the machine light up and the insides spin around as it recycles your bottle. After you have inserted all your bottles in the machine print out your receipt. Go do your shopping. At the checkout give the cashier your bottle recycling receipt, this amount is taken off your shopping bill.
How cool is that? Much more fun that simply placing your bottle in the recycling bin. However, it does mean that every Friday I carry home from work a plastic bag containing my empty Coke bottles from the week. It does make me look rather odd and all for getting only about a euro off my shopping bill. Still, I enjoy, perhaps a little too much, the act of recycling my bottles here.