Author: Svilena Velcheva

In a short time, the campaign “Return the bottle, get a book” gained great popularity not only in Varna, but also in much of the country. The organizer of the initiative is the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development.

The campaign gives everyone who gives away a glass bottle of perfume or pharmaceuticals, or an aluminum bottle of deodorant, to choose a book and make a donation of levs. The books are second-hand and were donated by people from Varna to the organization. Thus, people are stimulated to recycle and read at the same time. On the one hand, we save nature an eternal waste, such as glass, and on the other hand we save many old books from garbage, returning them to new life in the hands of a reader, says Ilian Iliev from PECSD.

The glass bottles are handed over for recycling free of charge at the glass factory in Beloslav. There they are processed by innovative technology to foam glass, which is the strongest of the known thermal insulation materials.

Unlike other recycling technologies, the unique thing about the one used in Beloslav is that the glass can be processed together with all impurities on it – metal, plastic and paper. There are usually a lot of these in small bottles and their removal makes them economically unprofitable for standard recycling.

The donated lev for a book allows the campaign to be partially self-sustaining, which makes it sustainable over time.

For about five months, more than 100 people from Varna took part in “Return the bottle, get your book”, and some of them have participated more than once. Nearly 80 kg of small glass bottles have been collected, half of which have already been recycled.

Glass bottles of perfume and bottles of deodorants are collected every Friday at 14 Sava Radulov Street in Varna.

Translator: Valentina Vagge

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Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.