Sweden’s deposit system is the oldest European scheme for one-way beverage packaging and has not only contributed to high collection rates and high quality recycling but has also effectively closed the loop for plastic bottles in the local Swedish market. The implemented proximity principle was acknowledged by Mr Rana Pant from the European Commission, DG Environment who underlined many environmental benefits of the Swedish solution.
What will soon be implemented in more countries has been a Swedish practice for many years. During the webinar, the managing director of Returpack, Mr. Bengt Lagerman gave a thorough introduction to the practical and legal aspects of closing the loop for plastic beverage containers. Door-to-door recycling facilities and right of first refusal of the PET recyclate for the producers in the deposit scheme secures the most cost efficient and environment friendly packaging waste management nationally. The Swedish model allows for 80% supply of the PET recyclate, which far exceeds the minimum 30% recycled content required by SUPD in 2030.
The Swedish model can serve as an excellent basis to create the system where OECD recommendation related to equal treatment of producers will also include an easy access to the high quality recyclate. The clear vision for fully implemented EPR in the post-use phase of the packaging life cycle has been presented by Alessandro Pasquale, CEO of the MATTONI 1873, beverage producer in Central and Eastern Europe. Centralized deposit system, colour harmonization and full ownership of the material by producers would be pre conditions for well-functioning and sustainable packaging waste management. “We can do more” concluded Mr Pasquale and our minimum target should be 80% recycled content, not just 30%”.