A new Future for Refillables Policy instruments in Europe for Reuse protection and experiences from Germany B udapest , 1 5 th February 2007 by Jürgen Resch, Executive Director. In former years beverages were packed only in refillables with a deposit. History ….
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Policy instruments in Europe for Reuse protection and experiences from Germany
Budapest, 15th February 2007
by Jürgen Resch, Executive Director
… and reality today
Refillables: a better systemto meet EU objectives of packaging waste reduction
IMPLEMENTATION REPORT OF DIRECTIVE 94/62/ECCOM(2006) 767 final, 6.12.2006
“Most studies found reusable packaging to be better in situations with generally low transport distances and high return rates, and one-way packaging to be better in situations with generally high transport distances and low return rates.
Given this background, it seems currently neither possible nor appropriate to propose harmonised measures to encourage reusable consumer beverage packaging at the Community level.
In general, appropriately designed national measures encouraging reusable packaging have environmental benefits. On the other hand, such measures can have impacts on the internal market. Finding a right balance between the involved economic and environmental interests remains one of the main tasks in this sector. Therefore, with respect to beverage packaging, the Commission will further evaluate the need to clarify or amend the provisions of Articles 5 and 7 of the Packaging Directive in order to facilitate its free circulation within the internal market. …”
IMPLEMENTATION REPORT OF DIRECTIVE 94/62/ECANNEX Brussels, 6.12.2006 COM(2006) 767 final
“…It is estimated that today Reuse systems are no longer commercially viable without a political support since they are absent or only of marginal importance in those Member States where such a political support does not exist. At the same time unilateral measures taken at Member State level in order to introduce beverage packaging reuse systems have a potential to partition the internal market. …”
1. Bans and Obligations are the best instruments, but… Brussels, 6.12.2006 COM(2006) 767 final
“…The most effective measures aiming to protect refillable packaging systems included bans or authorisation procedures for one-way packaging. However, such measures were incompatible with Article 18 of the Directive, which provides that “Member States shall not impede the placing on the market of their territory of packaging which satisfies the provisions of this Directive”.
Article 5 of the Directive allows Member States to “encourage reuse systems of packaging, which can be reused in an environmentally sound manner, in conformity with the Treaty”. This limits the freedom of Member States to measures which are in line with articles 28 to 30 of the Treaty. Following the jurisprudence of the Court, in order to be justified for reasons of environmental protection such measures must be appropriate, necessary and proportionate to the aim pursued.
“…Several Member States have introduced fiscal measures to protect refillable beverage packaging. Article 15 of the Packaging Directive provides that in the absence of Community measures aiming to promote the implementation of the objectives set by this directive, Member States may introduce economic instruments in line with the relevant provisions of the Treaty. Measures of a purely fiscal nature need to be assessed under Article 90 of the Treaty. This article does not contain any requirements for an environmental justification of tax exemptions or reduced tax rates.
Therefore, national measures on this basis were generally found compatible with Community legislation and have become more widely applied in the Member States. Nevertheless, technical specifications linked to fiscal measures also need to be assessed under Articles 28-30 of the Treaty. Such technical specifications were found incompatible with the Community law...”
3. Return- and Collection – Deposit SystemsBrussels, 6.12.2006 COM(2006) 767 final
“…Measures concerning the return and collection of packaging waste are based on Article 7 of the Packaging Directive. This article foresees that Member States shall take the necessary measures to set up such systems for used packaging and/or packaging waste.
Article 7 also allows the use of deposit systems for one-way packaging. However, the same article provides that such systems shall apply to imported products under non-discriminatory conditions.
In judgements C-463/01 and C-309/02, the Court took the view that “Article 7 of the Packaging Directive leaves it to the Member States to choose (a collection system) provided that the systems chosen are designed to channel packaging to the most appropriate waste management alternatives and form part of a policy covering all packaging and packaging waste.”
3. Return- and Collection – Deposit Systems - ConditionsBrussels, 6.12.2006 COM(2006) 767 final
Certain conditions have to be observed as regards system which are newly introduced and replace older systems:
"The new system must be equally appropriate for the purpose of attaining the objectives of Directive 94/62. In particular, where the new system is (…) a deposit and return system, the Member State must ensure that there are a sufficient number of return points so that consumers who have been charged a deposit when buying goods in non-reusable packaging can recover the deposit even if they do not go back to the initial place of purchase.“
Differing attitudes towards Re-use systems for beverage packaging in the EU Member States
The introduction of a deposit in Germany on cans and plastic bottles is a success story for REFILLABLES.
The deposit creates a level playing field for refillables and one way beverage containers
Littering problems are typical for countries without deposit like in Germany until 2002
Worldwide there are more than 30 different systems running – all successfully
New deposit systems have been implemented 2006 in the Netherlands (for PET bottles >0,5l) and in Croatia. In other states implementation is being seriously considered.
Deposit to protect refillables
Countries/regions with an installed deposit system for one-way containers
Countries/regions that are in the process of evaluating a deposit-system for one-way containers
Mandatory deposit helps to ensure refillable packaging reaches high return rates:
Case study AustriaEvolution of re-use packaging in Austria 1994 – 2003Source: ARA-Annual reports
Case study PortugalEvolution of the re-use rate for soft drinks and water in Portugal
Source: Quercus, Portuguese situation on reusable packaging – December 2003
Several studies confirm the environmental advantages of re-use systems, e.g.:
Global warming potential
Source: IFEU Institute LCA III/2003 - relevant beverage packaging for beer
Source: IFEU Institute LCA III/2003 - relevant beverage packaging for beer
Deposit is the most efficient market mechanism to ensure a high rate of return for recycling of one-way and of refillable beverage packaging
BUT: re-use systems for beverage packaging require political supportConclusions…
A decision for the implementation of a deposit on one-way packaging
On this base a roadmap including assistance and guidelines in exchange with other Member States to implement deposit systems for one-ways and refillables according to EU law and jurisprudence can be created…what is expected from Hungary: