I am known to be compulsive about recycling. In my mind it is one small and easy thing that we all can do to make a small difference in the world for our future generations. So, when I saw crates containing empty beer bottles at the local market in Seychelles, I took note. It meant we could recycle our empty beer bottles at the local market!
Somewhere in our first five days in the Seychelles, I read something online about a 2 Rupee bottle deposit on the local beer, Seybrew. This prompted my search on the label for any indication of a deposit or refund, but I found nothing. Of course, if we would have received an itemized receipt for our purchase, I would have looked there too. However, receipts are virtually non-existent here in the Seychelles.
The deposit turned out to be less than $.25 USD per bottle. So in the grand scheme of things, it’s mere pennies compared to the high cost of everything in the Seychelles. However, the budget conscious, coupon-cutting side of me thinks that every little bit helps! Regardless, my mind was set on returning our empty Seybrew bottles for the greater good. If we received money back, then it would just be icing on the cake!
Praslin Local Market
On the island of Praslin, the local market was only a few meters from our accommodation. After a long day of fun and sun at the beach, we stopped here to grab a few Seybrews and some snacks to satisfy us until dinner. I must say that after a day in the heat and humidity of the Seychelles, a cold local brew can be quite refreshing.
The cashier at the local market “rang up” our purchases by typing the costs into his handheld calculator and then flashed us the grand total. Seeing a credit card machine on the back counter, Kevin attempted to pay via credit card, but was denied. The clerk said they didn’t accept cards … so what was the machine for? Confused, we dug deep into our pockets to find some of the local currency, Rupees. The cashier made change, we collected our purchases and made our way back to our accommodation to relax on the patio with a cold Seybrew!
Seybrew Bottle Return
We followed a similar routine for a few days: enjoying the sun and beach during the day, stopping by the local market on our way back and sitting on our patio discussing the day over a cold Seybrew. Each day I would collect the empty beer bottles with hopes of returning them for a refund.
After acquiring eight bottles, it was time to visit the local market to return them. I placed them in a small sack and we made the short walk to the market. We approached the cashier to inquire about returning the bottles. He pointed to a half empty crate behind us and told us to place them there. Kevin turned back to the cashier and immediately asked, is there a deposit return?
With a look of disappointment, the cashier motioned for us to come towards the register. He asked how many bottles we had. After replying eight, the cashier re-counted and then pointed us back to the crate to deposit the bottles. He grabbed a notebook and quickly jotted something down before reaching into his register for the 16 Rupees. He begrudgingly handed over the money to Kevin and then carried on with the next customer.
From his demeanor, we got the impression that had we not asked about the deposit, the cashier would have kept it for himself. We suspected that the cashier, who was likely the shop owner, might have seen the opportunity for personal gain off of a tourist, who likely did not know about the deposit. If I had to wager a guess, I would assume that not many tourists return their empty bottles.
Regardless, I felt good about returning our bottles and love the added benefit of gaining a few cents back. It also re-iterates that it never hurts to ask, as you never know what you might gain from the answer!