Christian Abl, Member of the Management Board of Reclay Group, talks about the importance of introducing a deposit system in Austria and explains how Reclay will support its customers.
Why is a deposit system for disposable beverage packaging essential to achieve European recycling targets?
From 2025, 50% of all plastic packaging in Austria will have to be demonstrably recycled, and by 2030 it will even be 55%. Now we are at around 35% on average, which is not bad in principle. But in addition, there are separate quotas for disposable plastic beverage bottles: from 2025, 77% and from 2029 even 90% must be collected and recycled separately.
By introducing a deposit system, an entire waste stream – in this case the disposable beverage bottles mentioned above – can be collected very easily and efficiently and, as a result, recycled to a high standard. In this way, we can also produce a recycled plastic bottle from a used plastic bottle without depleting new resources.
When a whole stream of material is taken out of the collection in the Yellow Bag or the Yellow Bin, what does that mean for all other plastic packaging?
This means that we can increasingly collect, sort and recycle other plastic packaging that is not part of the deposit system. By eliminating the disposable beverage bottles in the normal collection, we free up urgently needed capacities in the sorting plants. To meet the recycling targets for plastic packaging, the deposit system alone is not enough, but it is an important step in the right direction.
If we look at what currently ends up in the residual waste instead of in the yellow bin or the yellow bag, we still have a lot of education to do in Austria: detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, sausage and cheese packaging, yogurt cups. All this is plastic packaging that – if properly separated and disposed of – can also be recycled in a high-quality manner and returned to the material cycle as a recyclate. To motivate the population to collect separately, incentive or reward systems could be created, as we have been testing since March with the RecycleMich initiative in Vienna for example.
How will Reclay support its customers in preparing for the deposit system?
As with other legal changes in the past, we are always on hand to advise on the upcoming deposit system and will not let our customers down. As soon as we have more detailed information on the design of the deposit system, we will proactively contact all customers who need to deal with it more closely due to their portfolio and make the necessary adjustments together.