home mail print index imprint

26.10.2006

Empty Non-Refundable Bottles - IUF Comment 27/2006

Sascha Tamm, IUF

As reported recently by the FAZ, criminals are manipulating the German bottle deposit system on a massive scale in order to make money. They are producing bottles, falsifying the product codes and then returning the phony bottles to supermarkets throughout Germany. This, of course, is a prosecutable criminal offense. Incidentally, retailers and the entire beverage industry should be happy because many new and unused bottles are being delivered directly to their doorsteps.  

 

Obviously, there is a flaw in the entire system -- even the word "deposit" is misleading. Usually, a deposit is paid for something of value, i.e. an item that the owner would like to have returned. However, the item in question is a non-refundable bottle that cannot be reused even as the name suggests. The incentive for criminals stems from the very low production costs -- much less than one half of the deposit amount. What typically happens in such a well-intentioned state action is: more instead of fewer non-refundable bottles are produced; non-refundable bottles are transported across long distances; creative forms of crimes are invented.  

 

This is reminiscent of a practice in India, where the government offers a premium for killing venomous snakes if, and only if, the head of the dead snake is given to the authorities. What emerged? You guessed it -- venomous snake farms.  

 

 

Author:  

 

 

  • Sascha Tamm, IUF

 

The IUF comment appears regularly as the voice of freedom. We're pleased with getting comments about comments.  

 

SPONSORING
NEWSLETTER

Yes, I want current messages of the Institute for Free Enterprise:

QUOTES

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

"All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out."

Stipendien für begabte Leute
iuf top