[Mika @ Lund] Eco living from Sweden - February 2020
Hello, this is Mika.
February is the coldest month of the year, but recently it is warm (although the temperature is still about 5 degrees), and I feel the rising temperature with the blooming flowers blooming as spring approaches.
By the way, February is the month for semla. A semla is a traditional sweet which is eaten in February in Sweden. A semla is a cardamom-spiced wheat bun filled with a mix of milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. It is a delicious treat that you want to eat all year round, but the origin of this treat is before Easter fasting. So it is sold and eaten only during this time. It's really delicious so if you have the chance, please try it!
It's been eight years since I moved to Sweden.
The first thing I thought when I moved to Sweden was how amazing the collection of plastic bottles and aluminium cans are! The collection system is available not only in Sweden but also in Denmark, Norway and Finland, so it's not special, but I would like to introduce this system to you.
This Swedish system is called PANT; which means deposit. It's such a common system now that PANT is used as a verb. When you want to go and "recycle plastic bottles and cans, you can say "I'm going to go PANT now. "
Here, all plastic bottles and cans are eligible for PANT. For plastic bottles and cans that are less than 1 liter the deposit or PANT is 1 SEK (1 SEK/krone = about 10 yen), and plastic bottles that are more than 1 liter the PANT is 2 SEK (2 SEK/krone = about 20 yen). PANT money (or the deposit) is paid when you purchase the product. Of course, the PANT you pay is a deposit so if you recycle and return, you will get your PANT money back.
The collection system is also well done.
Collection machines are installed in most supermarkets. Plastic bottles and cans are put into the collection machine one by one, and when the machine reads the barcode, it automatically sorts them and calculates the amount of PANT. When you press the button after putting all the items, a receipt with the barcode of the sum of the PANT will be printed, so you can take it to the cash register and redeem it or use it as a voucher when shopping. You can also donate PANT money without cashing in on some machines. There are various types of donations, such as WWF, tree planting activities, Children's Cancer Foundation and educational support.
According to the PANT management company website, 84.9% of plastic bottles and cans have been collected and recycled through the PANT system in 2018. And as for the recycling method, it can be reborn as a new can or plastic bottle without adding any new material! It's such a great system!
With this system, I have never seen garbage such as plastic bottles or cans in town. Since the used plastic bottles and cans are also money, everyone brings it home and PANTSit. Less garbage because of recycling, and the town is beautiful; this is a wonderful system!