The Closed-Loop Endeavour: A Case Study on Barriers and Enhancements of the PET Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling Systems in Germany and Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Problem: The demand of beverages in PET bottles is constantly increasing. In this context, environmental, technological and regulatory aspects set a stronger focus on recycling. Generally, the reuse of recycled material from post-consumer PET bottles in bottle-to-bottle applications is seen as least environmentally harmful. However, closed-loop systems are not widely implemented in Europe. Previous research mainly focuses on open-loop recycling systems and generally lacks discussion about the current German and Swedish systems and their challenges. Furthermore, previous studies lack theoretical and practical enhancements for bottle-to-bottle recycling from a managerial perspective.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the PET bottle recycling systems in Germany and Sweden, analyse the main barriers and develop enhancements for closed-loop systems.
Method: This qualitative study employs a case study strategy about the two cases of Germany and Sweden. In total, 14 semi-structured interviews are conducted with respondents from different industry sectors within the PET bottle recycling systems. The empirical data is categorised and then analysed by pattern matching with the developed theoretical framework.
Conclusion: Due to the theoretical and practical commitment to closed-loop recycling, the Swedish PET bottle recycling system outperforms the Germany system. In Germany, bottle-to-bottle recycling is currently performed on a smaller scale without a unified system. The main barriers for bottle-to-bottle recycling are distinguished into (1) quality and material factors, (2) regulatory and legal factors, (3) economic and market factors and (4) factors influenced by consumers. The enhancements for the systems are (1) quality and material factors, (2) regulatory and legal factors, (3) recollection factors and (4) expanding factors. Lastly, the authors provide further recommendations, which are (1) a recycling content symbol on bottle labels, (2) a council for bottle quality in Germany, (3) a quality seal for the holistic systems, (4) a reduction of transportation in Sweden and (5) an increase of consumer awareness on PET bottle consumption.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 72 p.
PET bottle, closed-loop recycling, bottle-to-bottle recycling, b2b, Germany, Sweden, reverse logistics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30064ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160257OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-30064DiVA: diva2:931517
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Hilletofth, PerSkoglund, Per