The Germans keep finding ways to make themselves miserable. Now it is a dopey, arbitrary recycling goal that may make beer disappear from store shelves come January.

Did East Germany ever manage to run out of beer?

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  1. Best reason to bring American troops home.

  2. It wasn’t that long ago the “Brickbats” had a little blurb about some guys who were arressted for fraud in California for bringing containers from out of state to get the deposit.

    How far are we from the German beer debacle?

  3. I was being sarcastic, Jim.

  4. January will be a little rough, but by February beer and soda supplies will be just fine again. Western Europe isn’t the United States. There aren’t thousands of square miles of land to simply dump plastic-lined, mylar-coated two-layered metal cans on forever.

    The EU also has tax burdens that are sometimes double the US’s, and gasoline taxes that the Chamber of Commerce apologists here argue would send any economy into immediate collapse. Instead, Germans drive, live decently, and now their beer bottles will get a little uglier and more uniform again as they transition back to standardized, easily-reusable, albeit heavier and less creative, cans and bottles. Big deal.

    As for East Germany, sure they had beer shortages. Lines, even, what with it being a command economy and all. And the selection was awful. Still, though, not as bad as it was in the USSR under Gorbachev. His anti-alcoholism campaign, while more famous in some circles for uprooting and paving over some wonderful old vineyards in Georgia, also had an interesting contribution to recycling. In the campagin, many bottle-making plants were shuttered. As a result, even for a few years after the campaign ended, the bottle shortage was so severe for beer, liquor and mineral water and soda too, that the bottle deposits got to be higher than the price of the contents of the bottles. At the stated 25 cents or so per bottle in Germany, you can bet no bottle will go unreturned.

    Life will go on; the German economy will not fall into ruin. Reusable rather than “recyclable” bottles will also be cheaper and less energy- and water-intensive per cycle than anything but dumping, consuming less state-subsidized water and electricity to clean them than they would to process the slurry of crushed bottles and make new ones. Will Germans buy less beer because it’s in scuffed glass bottles if it’s all in scuffed glass bottles? I doubt it.

  5. any reason for removal of beer is depressing

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