The recycling industry calculates how many collection points for bottles and cans may be created in Poland. The number is impressive

Luc Williams

According to the rules Polish deposit system is to be launched at the beginning of 2025 and will include three types of packaging: plastic bottles up to 3 liters, reusable glass bottles up to 1.5 liters and metal cans up to 1 liter.

Business Tomra from the industry recycling pointed out that in “mature” European markets, i.e. those where the deposit system has been operating for several or a dozen years and reaches 90%. packaging return level, the most optimal assumption is one collection point per 1,000. people.

How many points will there be in Poland?

As calculated, 36.5 thousand jobs may be created in Poland due to the deposit system. collection points for bottles and cans. In 22.5 thousand of them, collection is to be carried out manually, and in 14 thousand – automatically.

Anna Sapota from Tomra believes that with the launch of the deposit system in our country, there will be more points where a store employee will collect packaging manually, but such a solution will not be the final solution.

“Manual collection has a much smaller contribution to the overall level of returned packaging,” Sapota pointed out, citing as an example Lithuania. In this country with over seven years of experience with the deposit system, significantly less packaging is collected manually, and up to recyclers hits much more. In Germany, where there are 130 thousand collection points (approx. 100,000 with manual collection and 30,000 with automatic collection), 90 percent all returned packaging goes through automatic machines. More deposit packaging, 98%, is collected by vending machines in Slovakia.

Specificity of trade in Poland

Sapota drew attention to the specificity of our country and the diverse store infrastructure. “For example, in smaller towns and villages, where local shops sell much fewer drinks, manual collection will be sufficient,” she said.

The information provided by the company shows that a store that will accept packages manually at the checkout will store them and hand them over to the deposit system operator in an unchanged form – they will not be crushed or destroyed, and the logo and code on the label must be clearly visible. Packaging collected in stores will be sent to the operator, who will recount and settle them.

In the case of automatic collection, the recycler will do the work for the store employee – it will scan the product, compress it and place it in the internal bin. Such a machine can also be a kind of warehouse for packages received as part of a deposit, it was reported.

Pursuant to the current act, large stores with an area exceeding 200 square meters will be obligatory to be included in the system, which will have to collect empty packaging and return the deposit. Smaller establishments will be able to participate in the system voluntarily, although they will have to collect a deposit. According to the announcements of the Ministry of Climate, small shops would be obliged to accept reusable glass bottles if they sell drinks in such packaging. Unclaimed deposit will be used to finance the deposit system. The deposit is intended to encourage the return of packaging and increase the amount of reused and processed raw materials used to produce packaging.

The government is already announcing changes

Climate and Environment Resort However, he announced changes to the regulations regarding the deposit system, which would come into force this year. Deputy Minister of Climate Anita Sowińska informed about two initiatives in this matter – a “technical” one and a broader amendment to the regulations. The technical amendment, which – as she explained – is to appear soon, is to include, among others: provision for at least one collection point in each commune.

The second, broader amendment to the regulations will determine whether the deposit will be taxed at 23%. VAT rate. Sowińska explained that currently, according to the guidelines Ministry of Finance, reusable bottles are subject to VAT, single-use bottles are not. The Ministry of Environmental Protection wants returnable packaging to be exempt from VAT. This amendment is intended to regulate, among others: also that the deposit follows the product throughout the sales chain; the deposit would be collected by the producer of the drink by selling the goods to the wholesaler, who, in turn, would collect the deposit from the store to which he would deliver the goods. At the end, the deposit would be collected from the buyer of the drink and returned to him upon receipt of the bottle or can. In the current regulations, the deposit appears at the last stage in the consumer-store relationship. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is to propose postponing the obligation to collect bottles of milk and dairy products under the deposit system by one year, i.e. from 2026.

The deposit for plastic bottles and metal cans will be 50 groszy, and for glass bottles – PLN 1. In the regulation still in force for glass, it is 50 gr. (PAP)

Author: Michał Boroń


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