The backup system for PET bottles and cans could start functioning in the middle of 2025, the Ministry of the Environment (MŽP) wants to submit the amendment to the interdepartmental comment procedure at the end of the month. In total, approximately 11,000 collection points should be created, people could return PET bottles and cans in addition to shops, but also at gas stations and via online stores. Representatives of the ministry told reporters at a working breakfast on Tuesday.
Backups for plastic bottles and cans in Slovakia. The eastern neighbors have collected over 615 million packages in the new system since the beginning of the year. The Czech Republic is also considering mandatory back-up of PET bottles and cans
| Photo: Diary/Přemysl Spěvák
The ministry proposes a deposit of four crowns for these packages, i.e. one crown more than for glass bottles. The amendment also regulates waste, the recycling and collection of which has not yet been charged, such as advertising leaflets. According to the ministry, the system will not have a negative impact on municipal budgets, nor will it disrupt the current waste sorting system.
“From the ministry’s point of view, it is crucial that waste is used as a resource as often as possible. Implementation of a backup system therefore, it should not in any way disrupt the existing waste sorting system, but supplement it. At the same time, it must not harm the municipalities or disrupt the market for sorted raw materials. Municipalities that lose part of the profit from the sale of sorted materials due to the advance payment will be able to receive funds directly from the advance payment system. On the one hand, thanks to the handling fees for collection points, they will also be the recipients of part of the money from uncollected deposits,” said David Surý, senior director of the environmental protection section of the MoE.
The government is in favor of backing up PET bottles. The proposal includes four to five crowns
Backup system should cover all non-alcoholic beverages in plastic bottles and cans with a volume of 0.1 to three liters and alcoholic beverages up to 15 percent alcohol in plastic bottles and cans. The exception will be packaging for milk and milk products, drinks with more than 15 percent alcohol and disposable glass beverage packaging, which will not be backed up.
The price of the deposit is set by a decree, currently it is calculated at four crowns. If the package is returned undamaged and untrodden with a label and EAN code, this amount will be returned to him. It will not be necessary to wash the bottles.
Take a look at how automatic deposit machines work in Slovakia now:
Source: Diary/Přemysl Spévák
The Ministry has calculated how the amendment to the Packaging Act will be reflected in the budgets of individual municipalities. For the calculation, they randomly selected several villages and towns according to different numbers of inhabitants. According to the MoE, the overall impact on municipalities will be positive, on average the municipality should receive an additional 39 crowns for each citizen.
At the same time, the MoE is preparing a calculator that municipalities will be able to use to calculate the impact of the advance payment system on their budget. The operator who will be responsible for the system will have the obligation to pay 15 percent of uncollected advances to municipalities, so according to Hladík, the amendment should not have negative effects on municipalities and their budgets.
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“We, or rather the operator, will know exactly how many packages will be put on the market. It will know exactly how many packages will be returned. The difference is uncollected advances, and 15 percent of these uncollected advances will be the municipality’s per capita income, calculated per inhabitant,” said the Minister of the Environment Petr Hladík (KDU-ČSL). The amount will therefore be evenly distributed within the country.
According to Suré, the calculation of exact costs would mean an extreme administrative burden on municipalities.
Uncollected advances will remain with the municipalities
Uncollected deposits are money for PET bottles and cans, which will be left to the municipalities either in nature, black mixed or yellow plastic containers. In all these cases, the responsibility for the given waste will remain with the municipality.
“Thanks to the system backed up PETs and cans, we manage to collect up to 90 percent of this waste for more efficient recycling. Today, PETka can be made into, for example, a sweatshirt or a car mat. Our goal is to turn a PET bottle into a PET bottle again. By introducing back-up, we will not only fulfill our European obligations, but above all we will relieve the Czech nature, because it is these packagings that are one of the most carelessly thrown away,” said Hladík.
The Ministry’s effort to launch a backup system is appreciated by the Initiative for Backup, which brings together beverage manufacturers such as Mattoni 1873, Plzeňský Prazdroj, Kofola, Coca Cola HBC ČR and SR, and Heineken ČR.
“Also, the city-municipality impact figures published today confirm that backup is the most effective way to achieve European targets,” they said in a statement. They pointed out that the system must be friendly especially for consumers, to whom it must provide a wide and easily accessible collection network.
Slovaks have already returned 820 million pieces of plastic. The Czech Republic is still waiting for backup
It will be mandatory for traders to offer a place for return of PET and metal packaging in stores over 50 square meters, all gas stations over 50 square meters will also offer the option to return the beverage packaging. Smaller shops and municipalities can participate voluntarily, but also, for example, stalls, schools or one-off events. In municipalities with more than 300 inhabitants, where there will be neither a mandatory nor a voluntary collection point, the system operator will obligatorily set one up.
In addition to the backup conditions, the amendment also regulates the handling of, for example, advertising printed materials. The manufacturer should pay directly for the storage and recycling of these waste items. For example, discarded flyers currently make up 20 to 30 percent of the volume of blue bins, according to the ministry. According to Suré, the fee should roughly correspond to the current amount for other paper packaging.