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The deposit-refund system in Poland. Beverage industry calls for legislation

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The deposit-refund system in Poland has not yet been introduced. The beverage industry demands that the Sejm be referred to the Sejm as soon as possible and that the relevant act be passed. “This delay is completely unnecessary and harmful to the environment and the economy. It will also affect the production costs, prices and competitiveness of the beverage industry” – stressed Andrzej Gantner, vice-president of the Polish Federation of Food Producers.

The appeal regarding the deposit-refund system was published on Thursday by the Polish Federation of Food Producers, the Employers’ Association and the Association of Employers of the Brewing Industry in Poland – Polish Breweries. The joint statement emphasized that “there is a real threat that the deposit-refund system may not be adopted in this term of office of the Sejm, which means that a significant increase in the collection and waste recycling beverage packaging, including PET bottles, instead of already in 2025, it will be possible in 2030 at the earliest.

At the same time, the results of the study were quoted, which are supposed to show that the introduction of the deposit-refund system is supported by almost 90 percent. Polish consumers and the entire beverage industry. “It is intended to contribute to environmental protection by significantly increasing the amount of collected and recycled beverage packaging waste. Thanks to this, empty PET bottles and beverage cans will disappear from our parks, forests and streets. The system will also contribute to improving air purity, because bottles PET will cease to be burned in furnaces.

According to the beverage industry, “the lack of the system will cause serious problems for the beverage industry in fulfilling its obligations under the act implementing the EU Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive”. As it was recalled, the Act establishes new, mandatory levels of collection and use of secondary raw material in packaging. From 2025, each new PET bottle is to contain a minimum of 25 percent.

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The deposit-refund system in Poland

At the end of December last year, the government adopted an act to implement the EU SUP Directive, which aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic, into national regulations. The second project under development is to implement a deposit-refund system in Poland. The Ministry of Climate and Environment is responsible for its preparation. Work on this project has been going on for over a year and it has been changed several times. Draft act on the deposit-refund system in mid-January it was submitted to the Chancellery of the Prime Minister for consideration by the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers.

According to the beverage industry, “further blocking of the act and its possible failure to adopt it in this term of office of the Sejm directly means that instead of launching the system in 2025, Poland will do it no earlier than in 2030.”

“This delay is completely unnecessary and harmful to the environment and the economy. It will also affect the production costs, prices and competitiveness of the beverage industry, because high penalties are imposed for failure to meet the packaging collection levels. Without the deposit-refund system, producers will also have to buy recyclate in other countries where systems deposit systems are already in operation or will be launched in the near future” – said Andrzej Gantner, vice-president of the Polish Federation of Food Producers, quoted in the communiqué.

“The deposit-refund system is a solution we are impatiently waiting for and we still hope that the act, which is practically ready and which has been promised to consumers and entrepreneurs many times, will finally be submitted to the Sejm” – added Bartłomiej Morzycki, general director of the Association of Brewing Industry Employers in Poland.

According to the recent announcements of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the deposit-refund system is to cover plastic beverage packaging with a capacity of up to 3 liters, reusable glass beverage packaging with a capacity of up to 1.5 liters, and metal cans with a capacity of up to 1 liter.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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