Used packaging can be recycled, and the process requires less energy and fewer resources than manufacturing bottles and cans from new raw materials. The industry has therefore helped to set up an effective bottle deposit return system. The association also develops tools that members can use in their environmental and climate efforts.
The Danish Brewers' Association has developed guidelines for breweries and soft drinks manufacturers for preparing green accounts in order to strengthen their environmental reporting. The association has also been instrumental in developing an environmental management tool to help breweries and soft drink manufacturers systematically reduce their environmental impact.
Similarly, to minimise climate impact the association has developed a climate tool, which enables association members to chart and calculate their total climate impact, formulate a climate strategy and establish specific, related targets. The tool is also used to calculate the industry's total carbon footprint and the climatic impact of beer, soft drinks and water in typical packaging to ensure the use of raw materials and packaging that minimise environmental impact.
The breweries and soft drink manufacturers do not want packaging to end up as environmental waste. Packaging must be collected and reused or recycled. The industry has therefore helped to set up an effective bottle deposit return system. The industry also works actively to minimise packaging consumption. By collecting and reusing bottles, the industry saves in the region of 300,000 tons of waste a year. The breweries and soft drinks manufacturers collect the bottles for recycling, while Dansk Retursystem A/S collects disposable packaging that cannot be refilled but instead reused.
The industry set up and financed Dansk Retursystem in 2000. In 2008, Dansk Retursystem collected over 400 million disposable containers, approx. 290 million of which were cans. Approx. 26,000 tons of packaging material was sent for reuse. The system is continually expanded and now includes alcoholic soft drinks, cider, mineral water and iced tea. Dansk Retursystem A/S is also involved in several environmental activities, including information campaigns aimed at increasing collection levels. Dansk Retursystem A/S also contributes to the Danish Ministry of Taxation's Fair Play campaign and to charity.
Through the Danish Brewers' Association, Danish breweries and soft drink manufacturers have helped to establish and support the network organisation 'Keep Denmark Clean', which aims to reduce the levels of litter and change Danes' views on littering. The organisation was set up in October 2008 by seven organisations and companies.
Dansk Retursystem A/S is one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Keep Denmark Clean and is represented on the executive board. Keep Denmark Clean is supported by the Danish Ministry of the Environment and plays an important role in the Government's waste strategy 2009-12.