1.6 plastic beverage bottles are put into circulation in Austria every year – that’s 180 plastic bottles per person per year. That is the result of a survey commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment at the beginning of 2020.
But only 40 percent of plastic bottles are recycled. And it is even more rare that old plastic bottles are made into new ones. The companies on the “Packaging with a Future” platform have decided to improve this share – with the support of retailers.
A new bottle is made from an old bottle
By 2025, Lidl wants to produce a fifth of its own branded plastic bottles from recycled plastic, says Alessandro Wolf, head of the discount chain in Austria, headquartered in Salzburg: “We are convinced that a new bottle should also be created, and not another product like this is often the case. That, for example, shoes can then be produced with this valuable material. “
Lidl for one-way deposit system
If a deposit system is introduced for single-use plastic bottles, it WILL take time and involve a lot of investment, says Wolf. Lidl supports the introduction of such a one-way deposit. This is necessary to collect and recycle more plastic.
Because if nothing happens here and Austria dies, it does not comply with the increasing EU collection and recycling quotas for plastic waste, there is a risk of fines running into the millions. It is not yet clear when the deposit plans will be fixed. The Ministry of the Environment actually wanted to present something more specific this week – but nothing came of it in view of the government crisis.
Other types of packaging are not negligible
But even if there is a deposit on one-way plastic bottles, other types of packaging should not be forgotten, says Manfred Hackl from EREMA Recycling-Maschinen: “That would be the wrong approach, because then the image is what is valuable, we collect with a deposit and we recycle, and the other is not recyclable which is not true. I can recycle the other in the same way – so you have to see it holistically. That is the decisive factor when you take the step with the deposit. “
Plastic separation improvements
There is still room for improvement here to make recycling easier – for example with yoghurt pots where a cardboard and a plastic part have to be separated, says Manfred Stanek from Greiner Verpackungen: “Our studies in Austria have shown that around 40 percent of the Customers do. However, the goal is 100 percent and that is why we have now brought an innovation to the market, where the paper wrap from the plastic cup by itself is detached in the garbage truck IS and IS necessary to turn more plastic packaging into plastic raw materials again.