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Not until 2025: Why is it taking so long to introduce a one-way filing?

Not until 2025: Why is it taking so long to introduce a one-way filing?


The Urfahraner fair with its mountains of rubbish shows once again how bad Linz – or rather the whole of Austria – is when it comes to waste avoidance and waste segregation. In Germany, as early as 2003, drinks in non-returnable bottles and cans were subject to a 25-cent deposit, but it would take about two years for us to get started. We looked at the system in Bavaria – and were thrilled.

No, Austria isn’t exactly a leader when it comes to one-way deposits: ten countries – Germany, Sweden, Iceland, the Netherlands, Croatia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Estonia – have already successfully introduced this deposit system, and eight more countries (including Austria) have decided to introduce such a system. also.

However, the fact that in Austria it will take until 2025 (and therefore 22 years longer than in Germany) can be explained above all by resistance to trade and the slow pace of domestic politics – and, on the other hand, voters do not want to be disturbed. Totally incomprehensible, given that the same system has been running smoothly in Germany since 2003 with constant improvements. In addition, large retail chains / brands such as Lidl, REWE (BILLA) or Hofer are closely related to our neighbors and share distribution chains, and the beverage brands and package sizes are very similar.

The fact that it will take until 2025 in Austria can be explained primarily by resistance to strong trade and the slow pace of domestic politics.

More than 900,000 tons of plastic waste is generated in Austria each year, of which about 50,000 tons is for beverage packaging. That’s about 2.5 billion bottles and cans that are often thrown away carelessly. According to EU regulations, 90 percent of plastic drink packaging must be collected separately by 2029. Austria is currently only about 70 percent. The introduction of one-way deposit increases the recycling rate accordingly, and Austria then has to pay a lower “plastic tax” to the EU.

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Easy return of all disposable containers in each branch of the supermarket: Germany introduced this system back in 2003.

Domestic inspection in Germany
In Germany, the system has been working pretty much without complaint since 2003 (with several updates) – and it’s very simple: It doesn’t matter what kind of drink you buy or in which store you buy it, return machines are set up in many supermarket branches or chains. They take all returnable PET bottles and cans. This is made possible by a printed tape. So returns are kept very low. However, the deposit slip can only be redeemed at the branch where the disposable container was returned.

There is a special rule for shops with a sales area of ​​less than 200 square meters – such as kiosks or smaller petrol stations: they must only take back empty items from the brands they themselves have in their range so that these small shops do not face logistical problems.

The only problem – and unfortunately very annoying – is that dented cans or bottles are not accepted by the machine. Especially with relatively thin-walled empty beverage cans, the indented or dented side is unavoidable. Even if the label is missing, blanks will not be accepted. By the way, the returned packaging is not repacked, but cut directly on site by the machine.

Best of all, returned PET bottles, cans, and bottles are a desirable item to collect because collecting and returning them is “relatively profitable” given the relatively high deposit of 25 cents (low pensions in Germany meanwhile collecting bottles and cans in Germany have unfortunately turned out to be ” Retired Sport” but that’s another story entirely).

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