Bottle Bill Resource Guide

Austria has two laws dealing with beverage container deposits:  the 1990 Order puts a deposit on refillable plastic bottles, while the 2021 Amendment puts a deposit on single-use containers. Each piece of legislation has its own labeled table; see below for the two separate laws.

2021 Government Decision on Single-Use Deposit Return System

Law Summary

2021 Government Decision regulating the deposit-return system for primary non-
refillable packaging (RGR) [1]

Date Implemented Planned implementation 01 January 2025
Beverages Covered

Beverages in containers between 0.1L and 3L: [2]

  • Beer and beer mixes
  • Alcoholic beverage mixes
  • Cider and other fermented beverages
  • Juices and nectars
  • Soft drinks
  • Waters
  • Wines and spirits
Amount of Deposit

25¢-30¢ EU [3]

Reclamation System TBD
    Handling Fee TBD
    Other Fees

    TBD

    Program Success N/A

     Details

    In July 2020, the Austrian Environment Ministry announced a deposit-return system on single use containers (plastic and metal) along with refillable containers. This is part of a greater 3-point plan which includes implementing legally-binding quotas for the market share percentage of refillable containers. plastic producers would also bear the cost of the newly introduced EU plastic tax. Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler states that they intend to require 25% of beverages to be sold in refillable containers by 2023, increasing to 40% in 2025 and 55% in 2030. [4]

    The Austrian Council of Ministers passed a Government Decision to amend the Waste Management to implement a single-use container DRS in October 2021. [5] The Government Decision also establishes a market share quota for the percentage of beverages in refillable containers offered to consumers:  refillables must comprise 25% of the market share by 2025, and 30% by 2030. Non-alcoholic beverages in containers less than 0.5L are exempted from the refillable quotas. These containers may be subject to the refillables deposit, described in the section below.

    The Amendment must pass through Parliament to be implemented, with an expected implementation date of 1 January 2025. The Government Decision mandates that the infrastructure of the Deposit Scheme must be in place by October 2022. [6]

     

    1990 ORDER CONCERNING REFILLABLE PLASTIC BOTTLES

    Name Ordinance on Taking Back and Deposit Payments for Refillable Plastic Beverage Containers (Federal Law Gazette No 513/1990 as amended by Federal Law Gazette II No 440/2001) [7]
    Law Summary Requires deposits on refillable PET bottles. (Non-refillable plastic containers are exempt.)
    Date Implemented 1 July, 1990; Amended in 2001 and implemented again in 2002.
    Containers Covered Refillable PET bottles.
    Amount of Deposit

    40¢EU deposit per PET container.

    Fees and Taxes Voluntary recycling fee of U.S. $0.02 - $0.08 on one-way containers
    Program Success N/A

    Details

    In the 1990s, the Austrian government introduced various ordinances regarding waste management and container recycling. This included the establishment of recycling targets for containers (to be reached by 2000), and the implementation of a voluntary deposit scheme ordinance for refillable plastic containers. [8] Though successful at the time, the number of beverages sold in refillable containers have decreased in the last two decades, in tandem with a rise in beverages sold in non-refillable containers.

    The establishment of a beverage market sale quote on refillables is expected to help counteract this, with Environment Minister Leonore Gevesler stating, "By returning bottles for multiple use, customers get a choice. It will be not only for beer, but also juices, sour water, but also milk." [9]

    Austria1

    Source: Reloop Platform's "Beverage sales by container type in Austria." 2015.

    Sources

    [1] "PRESS RELEASE: Government approved today the GD regulating the deposit-return system." Austrian Directorate for Communication, Transparency, and IT. 5 October 2021.

    [2] Ibid.

    [3] "Austria introduces bail for plastic bottles and cans." Tek Deeps. 23 October 2021.

    [4] "Austria plans deposit for single-use beverage containers, quota for refillable bottles." Europäischer Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH, 9 July, 2020.

    [5] "Österreich bekommt ab 2025 ein Plastikpfand, Höhe noch nicht fixiert." (trans. "Austria will receive a Plastic Deposit in 2025, amount not yet decided." STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H. 13 October 2021.

    [6] See Footnote 1.

    [7] "National factsheet on separate collection: Austria." Copenhagen Resource Institute. September 2015.

    [8] "Plastic Pollution Lobby: A coalition against the introduction of a deposit return system in Austria." Changing Markets Foundation, Break Free From Plastic Movement. May 2020.

    [9] See Footnote 3.

     

    Last Updated on 27 October 2021.