Bottled water industry calls for efficient plastic recycling systems

EUROPE – The European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) has called for more efficient collection and sorting systems for beverage containers to high-quality recycled PET in the EU.

EFBW has recommended a step-change in the performance of collection and sorting systems for beverage containers and this may include a well-designed Deposit Refund System.

Such strategies are geared towards improving the number of recycled bottles across the EU including PET, glass and aluminium.

“The sector believes that high collection of beverage PET bottles is a first, but very important, step towards higher use of recycled PET,” said EFBW in a statement.

“However, to include recycled PET in their packaging natural mineral and spring water producers require access to a consistent supply of high-quality, food contact, recycled material.

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“Therefore, to meet the above targets while ensuring quantity and quality of recycled PET, separate collection is essential.”

According to the industry lobby, deposit refund system has the benefit of yielding very high return rates in a separate “clean” stream for PET beverage bottles.

The UK is set to introduce a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers such as glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans and this is believed will help increase recycling and reduce littering.

Scotland introduced a deposit return scheme, the first national scheme in the UK and so far, the strategy is proved successful.

Retailers including Sainsbury’s are piloting reverse vending machine in a bid to boost plastic recycling.

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The European Union in May approved the Single Use Plastics Directive with a 90% separate collection target for plastic beverage bottles by 2029 and a target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic in PET bottles from 2025.

The sector believes that high collection of beverage PET bottles is a first, but very important, step towards higher use of recycled PET.

“We call on all value chain actors to partner with us in this journey towards greater circularity of PET in Europe,” said Jean-Pierre Deffis, EFBW.

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