Achieving the EU recycling quota target together or: Austria’s mission 50%

Since 01.01.2023, all light weight packaging has been collected throughout Austria in the yellow bin or the yellow bag. In some regions, metal packaging is also collected in the yellow devices, in others there is still the blue bin. This will be abolished by 2025 at the latest and metal packaging will then be collected throughout Austria in the yellow bin or the yellow bag.

The newly defined regulations support the joint achievement of the EU recycling quota. The goal is to return many more recyclable materials to the material cycle than before. This can only succeed, if the individual countries consistently pursue their goals.

Standardisation proceeds step by step

Packaging made of paper must be collected in the red bin together with normal paper waste. Packaging made of glass must be separated into coloured or white glass and belongs into the correct glass bin. Light weight packaging such as yoghurt pots, chips packs, packing for sliced cheese and sausage or plastic bottles are just a few examples of packaging that belongs into the yellow bin or the yellow bag. In some regions packaging made of metal is collected together with other light packaging in the yellow devices. In some other regions there is still the blue bin available for metal packaging.

In the future it is planned in accordance with the requirements of the Packaging Ordinance to collect all light weight packaging together in the yellow bin or the yellow bag – no matter whether plastic or metal packaging. The necessary infrastructure for the common collection must be still created. Therefore, it needs time for preparation until 2025 to install the same collection regulations valid for the whole country of Austria. We have installed a collection map, where you can have a quick check on how the collection works in your region of Austria.

Great progress in recycling

In recent years, the technology that handles the sorting of collected packaging has improved and the material used is more recyclable. Manufacturers are increasingly focusing on the sustainable composition of their packaging and its materials. The increased use of secondary raw materials means, that both the recyclability and the demand for these materials are continuously increasing. Recycling facilities have been modernised and sorting capacities expanded. These are good prerequisites for the upcoming change, because the separate collection of recyclable materials and modern technologies make it possible to produce new packaging material again from supposed waste.

Shared rethinking

It will only be possible to save resources and energy if the whole of society faces up to the new challenge. The adaptation of collection must be restructured together. For the changeover to be a progressive simplification for citizens, comprehensive education should be provided immediately. The correct separation of household waste is indispensable, because only in this way can the sorting and recycling plants succeed in recovering the largest possible proportion of recyclable materials. Ultimately, money and resources are saved, as collection quantities as well as their quality increase and the effort in waste disposal and recycling is reduced. Only in cooperation with the people of Austria can a significant contribution be made to climate protection and the future.

What consumers should pay attention to now

The priority is still waste prevention, so consumers should look for reusable packaging when shopping or avoid packaging in general if possible. For reasons of shelf life or hygiene, it is not always easy to reduce packaging waste. Then it is important to be mindful of the waste. As a rule of thumb, all packaging – unless it is made of glass or paper – belongs in the yellow bin or the yellow bag. If there is also a blue bin available, metal packaging must be collected separately. Packing should be separated into its components as well as possible before it is disposed of. So, sorting plants can allocate the materials to the correct material streams. That means e.g., remove the lid of the cream cheese packaging beforehand.
However, the most important thing is and remains that no packaging is disposed of in residual waste! The EU recycling targets can only be achieved if the recyclable materials are secured through proper disposal. Everything that ends up in the residual waste is lost forever for the material cycle.

Österreich muss die EU-Recycling-Quote erfüllen
Great progress in recycling: Austria's mission 50%

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