Cologne, September 4, 2023. Reason to celebrate for “Spende Dein Pfand” (German for “Donate Your Deposit”): the initiative has now existed for ten years. Started by students, then developed as concrete project by Der Grüne Punkt together with Stuttgart Airport, ”Spende Dein Pfand” was officially launched on September 3, 2013.
“Spende Dein Pfand” collection bins are located in the security area checkpoints at eight major German airports. Passengers can donate their deposit bottles and cans which are not allowed to be taken on board for security reasons. Without “Spende Dein Pfand”, the beverage containers would be trashed, and the deposit money could not be redeemed.
Through “Spende Dein Pfand”, over twelve million deposit bottles have been collected so far. The deposit proceeds of over three million euros have been used to create and maintain stable jobs for now more than 40 staff at the eight airports to handle the deposits.
“This result makes us proud and is an occasion for us to thank all involved in the project and, of course, millions of passengers for ten years of ‘Spende Dein Pfand’,” says Jörg Deppmeyer, Managing Director of Der Grüne Punkt. “In addition to the extremely generous willingness of passengers to donate, it takes the right infrastructure as well as the commitment of everyone else involved to enable more than 40 individuals to be employed for the initiative as ‘deposit officers’ at the participating airports.”
Deposits for a good cause
The “Spende Dein Pfand” campaign, initiated by “Enactus” students at the University of Hohenheim, started in 2013 at Stuttgart Airport. The idea behind it: Collecting deposited disposable beverage bottles, that are not allowed to be taken on board at airport security checkpoints, via specially marked, transparent collection containers and using the deposit money collected to create jobs for socially disadvantaged people. The amount collected has so far enabled the creation of more than 40 jobs with access to social security.
The jobs are provided and supervised by non-profit organizations. In most cases former long-term unemployed people now work as “deposit officers” by emptying, cleaning, and maintaining the deposit containers. They also sort the collected bottles into disposable and reusable and pack them in special bags. Der Grüne Punkt then takes care of everything else. It handles the collected and sorted bottles, takes care of all logistics and returns the collected deposit money directly to the respective projects. Der Grüne Punkt bears the yearly costs for logistics, counting and receivables management as donation.