Plastic bottles in a recycling plant (illustrative image)

The Czech Republic will not introduce a PET bottle deposit refund system

The Czech Republic will not introduce an across-the-board system of PET bottle deposit refund, says Environment Minister Richard Brabec

Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will not introduce an across-the-board system of PET bottle deposit refund, Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) said today, adding that the current bottle recycling system is effective and Czechia meets its European commitments in this respect.

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Nevertheless, Brabec wants the current system of special containers for people to dispose of bottles and other plastic products to be further upgraded in cooperation with the producers and the towns’ association, he said at a press conference presenting a new draft package of waste-treatment legislation.

No law prevents PET bottle deposit refund from being applied, but its introduction by the state would be an unnecessary and risky step, Brabec said.

“We can see no reason to introduce the cost-intensive refund system,” he said, adding that the measure would cost the state several billion crowns.

The Environment Ministry will also deal with eco-modulation, or granting financial advantages to packagings that are environment-friendly in being effectively usable and with a long lifespan. This measure should motivate producers to consider environmental aspects of the production.

A PET bottle deposit refund system has been promoted by the Let’s Introduce Deposits group. It says, referring to an Eko-kom survey, that the plastic sorting rate dropped in the Czech Republic by 2 percentage points in 2018, compared with 2017, while the production of plastic increased by 40,000 tonnes in the past decade.

The ministry, on its part, argues that as many as 81 percent of the sold PET bottles were collected for recycling through the special containers.

Based on the relevant directive, the EU countries should start annually recycling 50 percent of plastic products, 25 percent of wood, 70 percent of glass, 75 percent of paper, 70 percent of iron metals and 50 percent of aluminium by 2025.

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