Austria to Implement Single-Use Deposit Scheme in 2025
Introduction of Single-Use Deposit System
As part of its efforts to enhance recycling rates and safeguard nature, the Austrian government has declared its intentions to implement a single-use deposit system in 2025. Mirroring parallel initiatives in countries like Germany, the plan involves a 25-cent deposit on plastic bottles and aluminium cans, which consumers can reclaim upon returning the items to the seller.
A Step Towards Proper Recycling
Austria’s Environment Minister, Leonore Gewessler, asserted that the deposit system would facilitate appropriate recycling of plastic bottles and cans, simultaneously protecting the environment. Moreover, she emphasized that the system would be self-financing, implying that the cost of the products would not increase.
Exemptions and Future Provisions
Initially, milk and milk-based drinks will not be subject to the single-use deposit system in Austria. Beverage cartons are currently also excluded from the deposit system. However, Monika Fiala, the Managing Director of the EWP Recycling Deposit Austria settlement agency, hinted that this could change in the future.
The Retail Sector’s Role
Fiala further clarified that consumers would be permitted to return their bottles and cans wherever the beverages are sold. This implies that the retail sector is expected to make investments of several hundred million euros related to the introduction of the deposit system.
Aligning with EU’s Legal Requirement
The implementation of the single-use deposit system signifies a step towards complying with the European Union’s legal requirement. Austria is expected to achieve a specified collection rate by 2029, and the introduction of this system is a move in that direction.
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