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December 14, 2009

Recycling Portal

Europen: Proposals for a modern beverage container policy

Brussels - A new 4-page paper outlines views on why mandatory deposits for non-refillable beverage containers are outdated and counterproductive. "Mandatory deposits are a hindrance to environmental and financial efficiency. They belong in the dustbin of history," says Europen, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, and opposes mandatory deposits for non-refillable drinks containers.

The EU-wide proportion of packaging being recovered, which stood at 69 percent in 2006, is rising year by year. In several Member States, that proportion already exceeds 90 percent. Nevertheless, the six Member States Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden still insist on running a supplementary policy of deposits on non-refillable drinks containers. Yet the supposed environmental beneits of the policy are hard to find, says Europen.

Evidence shows that where comprehensive packaging recovery systems exist, mandatory deposits add little to the tonnage of packaging collected. Indeed, the countries with the highest recycling rates don’t have mandatory deposit laws. Deposit laws divert beverage packaging from existing collection systems. Since 85 percent to 95 percent of all litter is not drinks related, the policy has little impact on littering. Perhaps most seriously, deposit systems force consumers and industry to deal with two separate waste collection systems. Often that means two car or lorry trips instead of one. More congestion, more fuel consumption, and more pollution is the unavoidable result.

The paper covers the following issues:
* Origin of mandatory deposits
* Mandatory deposits have failed to protect refillable bottles
* On other measures too, deposit-bearing containers fail to deliver environmental benefits
* Mandatory deposits increase pollution
* Mandatory deposts and litter - no relation
* Mandatory deposits are expensive and inefficient
* Mandatory deposits are unfair and confusing
* Mandatory deposits are incompatible with the European Single Market
* Mandatory deposits: an idea whose time has gone.

The paper can be downloaded under europen.be

http://www.recyclingportal.eu/artikel/23330.shtml


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