Czech Government to Discuss Mandatory Recycling of PET Bottles and Cans

The Czech government is set to discuss the mandatory recycling of PET bottles and cans in the summer. Environment Minister Petr Hladík said introducing this measure will significantly save energy and improve recycling. Some supermarkets have already tested the return of PET bottles and cans in a pilot mode.

The amendment aims to introduce a four-crown deposit on PET containers and cans in the Czech Republic and establish eleven thousand collection points for their return. Besides shops, gas stations should also participate in the project. The minister is confident that the government will approve the proposal and forward it to the Chamber of Deputies for further approval.

The minister says depositing PET bottles and cans, similar to how beer bottles are currently deposited, will increase the recycling of these packages. “When producing a PET bottle from recyclate, only twenty per cent of energy is consumed compared to a situation where the bottle would be made from new plastic,” he said. For cans, he says, energy consumption is only five per cent.

The experiment conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Adastra Lab, which monitored 100 beverage plastic bottles sorted into yellow containers, showed that a quarter of PET bottles reached the recycling facility in the Czech Republic three months after being thrown into the plastic container.

However, former Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec believes that the introduction of depositing could possibly increase the recycling percentage of PET bottles. However, it could also lead to more free plastic waste being thrown around, as people would stop taking it to the appropriate containers. He argues that the proposal will not only financially benefit beverage producers but will harm municipalities and retailers.