German Difference of the Week- The Crates of Glass in our Car

I’ve discovered you never truly “buy” a bottle of beer in Germany.   You buy the liquid inside the bottle…

Does the US even offer Coke in a glass bottle anymore?  Other than those crazy-overpriced tiny “collector” bottles?

Yes, I was a little confused at first too. 

Anyway…In the US, you buy a glass bottle of soda.  You drink the soda.   You (hopefully) throw the bottle into a glass recycling bins.  Done!

In Germany, if you follow those rules, you’d be throwing your money away…  Germany has a bottle deposit system in place.  You buy a glass bottle of soda, you drink the soda, then you return the bottle to the store on your next trip for a nice little sum off your final grocery bill.   The bottles are then returned the beverage manufacturer, sterilized, and re-filled. 

Most of the grocery stores I’ve seen have a very high-tech machine near the entrance where you place the bottles.  The machine spins the bottle to read the UPC and then credits you a specific amount based on the make/brand/size of the glass bottle.  Once you’ve returned all your bottles, the machine spits out a receipt with the total.  You take that receipt to the cashier when you check out- and the amount is subtracted from your final bill- like an instant rebate or coupon. 

We get back two to three euros each time we go the German grocery store (about once a month).

Still confused?  I found a video on YouTube.  (Nope, the woman is not me- I was going to film something similar, but kept forgetting the digital video camera.)

Which is why, on the night we go grocery shopping, we tend to have a milk crate of bottles sitting in the back of the car from the prior few weeks.   The glass clanking as we go over speed bumps is worth every (Euro) cent.

Categories: deployment, German differences, Germany, of course | 1 Comment

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One thought on “German Difference of the Week- The Crates of Glass in our Car

  1. Anna Gall

    And Li will remember the clicking and clacking of those bottles years from now. Thanks for sharing.

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