Poland will be the second largest country in the deposit system in Europe

From 2025, Poland will become the second largest deposit system country in Europe. We are creating a huge circular economy project for packaging – Marcel Rakowski, President of PolKa – Polska Kaucja, one of the system operators in Poland, told PAP. He pointed out that the deposit system will impose a change in consumer habits.

From January 2025, a deposit system for plastic, metal and glass containers will be implemented in Poland. For single-use plastic beverage bottles with a capacity of up to three liters and metal cans with a capacity of up to one litre, the deposit will be 50 cents.

“Implementing a deposit system in Poland is a big challenge, we are aware of this and we are ready,” – stressed Marcel Rakowski, President of PolKa – Polska Kaucja, which will be one of the operators of the system in Poland, in an interview with PAP.

“According to our calculations, to achieve the goals of selective collection in Poland, approximately 45,000 – 50,000 collection points are needed and this is our goal. Initially, at the beginning of next year, there will be at least 15,000 points, that is, the sites obliged to enter the system are Warehouses with an area of ​​​​more than 200 square meters. – added Rakovsky.

He pointed out that the number of points will increase from month to month, and there may be more than 100,000 potential collection points in Poland. This is in addition to small stores, including but not limited to: eating places.

“On January 1, the system will be launched in a miniature version and will be developed in the following months. According to assumptions, at the beginning of the year there may be approximately 7 to 8 thousand automated collection points in Poland, where you will be able to return bottles and cans.” And get a set for it. Buy a deposit. Today, at least six retail chains are extensively testing cashback machines in order to automate the process from the beginning of the system implementation. Eventually, Sight noted that such machines will be common.

He stressed that the system requires changing the habits of consumers who, in recent years, have been encouraged to crush bottles and cans before throwing them in the trash. Now, to get your deposit back, the bottles and cans must be returned in their original form.

“The company we are collaborating with has designed labels that show us what communication with the consumer looks like. The packaging will contain very simple and clear information – ‘Do not crush’. We are also planning broader campaigns at the national level, and I hope that we will be able to do so in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate and Environment. We will inform you,” he said. The startup of the system and what it means for the consumer.

Rakovsky emphasized that the deposit system is introduced to solve environmental problems and leads, among other things, to: eliminating thrown away plastic bottles from public places, parks and forests. In his opinion, the deposit system will generate new jobs in Poland. Employees will be needed to work in logistics or recycling plants.

“Poland, after Germany, will be the second largest country with a deposit system in Europe. We are creating a huge circular economy project for mobilization. In 2025, Poland will start in parallel with Austria,” he noted.

The deposit system is already in place in Scandinavia, Slovakia, Romania and Estonia. So far, the following companies have not decided to introduce it: France or Italy.

“Slovakia is a good example of a country that introduced a deposit system at a rapid pace. There, the implementation process lasted seven months. I personally participated in the initial phase of organizing this system,” PolKa President noted.

Since the launch of the system in 2022, Slovaks have returned more than 1.8 billion plastic bottles and cans, and the average collection rate since the launch of the system has reached 82%. There are more than 3,250 collection points registered in the system. Almost 100 percent of deposit refills in Slovakia were returned to vending machines.

PolKa, as operator, will be responsible for the operation of the deposit system: from the moment the deposit is collected, i.e. the consumer buys a drink. The deposit will be transferred to the operator's account and will be returned to the selected retail unit when the bottle is returned. The operator will also be obliged to organize the collection, transportation and processing of collected materials from commercial units in order to obtain the necessary materials for the production of new packaging. Rakovsky emphasized: “The team we have has experience in every stage of this system. We are ready to implement it.”

The introduction of the deposit system was discussed during an expert discussion as part of the XXIV Environmental Protection and Waste Management Exhibition – Ekotech in Targi Kielce. According to assumptions, the goal for 2025 is to collect 13 billion packages, which will translate into a 77% recovery. Packaging provided to the market. Approximately 14-15 thousand people will have to collect money. Currently stores more than 200 square meters, about 45 percent of which goes into yellow bags. Bottles released on the market.

According to the data provided, currently almost 90 percent of Poles support the idea of ​​introducing a deposit system.

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