Advocates for a proposed bottle deposit scheme say New Zealand should never have scrapped it in the first place.
The Environment Select Committee is considering whether to reintroduce the scheme.
Bottle deposits were scrapped in the 1980s because the beverage industry found it cheaper to buy single-use bottles than reuse or recycle old bottles.
Zero Waste Network chairman Marty Hoffart told Mike Hosking other countries moved in the other direction- with more regulations and more advanced recycling.
"If you look at all the European countries, Germany, Canada, Japan, Korea - all around the world, the Government is more involved."
He says the change could be introduced easily without any need to change the law.
Hoffart says the evidence is clear that too many cans and bottles don't get recycled.
"We drink about six million beverage containers a day, and about three million of those a day are ending up in landfills, which is about two Boeing 747's filled with beverage containers."