Position paper in favour of ambitious DRS

While the negotiations about the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) are still open, fifty organizations from 13 European countries make a call for the implementation of a solid and effective Deposit Return System (DRS) for beverage containers in all members states.

In the context of the climate and resource crisis, and given the ambition of the EU, a broad platform of almost fifty organizations from 13 European countries wants to remind the Council representatives that there is still time to raise the ambition of the final PPWR wording. This can be done, among others, by assuring the key role of a solid Deposit Return System (DRS), a necessary tool to ensure true circularity for single-use beverage containers.

It is worth noting that in the Plenary, all amendments aimed at making DRS voluntary for Members States were rejected by the European Parliament (EP), showing a firm position of the EP, in line with the original proposal by the European Commission, to have DRS become the norm in Europe. However, the wording of article 44 on DRS, as a result of the EP’s vote, lacks the ambition and the strength of the initial wording of the Commission and could open the door to critical shortcuts and loopholes that could delay the implementation of DRS all over Europe.

This group of organizations, that already presented a joint position paper previous to the vote on the Plenary, asks for a final version of the PPWR that protects a proven-to-be-effective DRS by:

  • Raising back the threshold for exemption from adopting national DRSs to a 90% collection rate instead of the 85% in the text proposed by the Parliament
  • Phasing out any escape route to countries opposing the introduction of a DRS such as the possibility of presenting a ‘plan of action’ to reach the 85% target while ignoring the spirit of the legislation and the targets already fixed in the SUP directive.
  • Avoiding any mention of ‘digital’ DRS’s, which is an alternative proposed – but not implemented anywhere – made up by industry to avoid the real implementation of proven DRS.

Why do we need a solid and effective DRS?

  • It is the only measure assuring separate collection rates of beverage containers above 90%;
  • The collection of high-quality materials allows for both: Closed-loop recycling (packaging-to-packaging) given maximized use of materials;
  • Compatibility with reuse schemes (by enabling the infrastructure of such schemes) which supports compliance with the reuse targets proposed by the PPWR itself;
  • It minimises littering of beverage containers, contributing to reduced costs for local authorities and reduced leakage of resources from circular management.

Last 22nd of November, the European Parliament voted in their Plenary session an amended version of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which will be the basis for the negotiatory position of the EP; concurrently, the Council is preparing its own position, which is due to be defined next few weeks. The Trilogue negotiations, expected to start in December, will be the last stop for this legislation.

Read the paper

The paper was signed by:

GLOBAL 2000 (Austria)
Bond Beter Leefmilieu (Belgium)
Canal It Up (Belgium)
Collectif de la Consigne Bruxelloise (Belgium)
Fugea (Belgium)
Greenpeace Belgium (Belgium)
Proper Strandlopers (Belgium)
Za Zemiata (Bulgaria)
Reloop (France)
Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Germany)
Éghajlatvédelmi Szövetség (Hungary)
Humusz Szövetség (Hungary)
Kétker Közösségi Alapítvány (Hungary)
Magyar Környezetvédelmi Egyesület (Hungary)
Pécsi Zöld Kör (Hungary)
Reflex Környezetvédő Egyesület (Hungary)
Tanácsadók a Fenntartható Fejlődésért (Hungary)
Zöld Akció Egyesület (Hungary)
ZÖLD KÖR (Hungary)
Zöldövezet (Hungary)
Polish Zero Waste Association (Poland)
Friends of the Earth (Ireland)
A Buon Rendere (Italy)
Altroconsumo (Italy)
Cittadini Sostenibili (Italy)
Fondazione Marevivo (Italy)
LAV – Lega Anti Vivisezione (Italy)
LIPU – Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli (Italy)
Società Italiana di Ecologia (Italy)
TCI – Touring Club Italiano (Italy)
Zero Waste Italy (Italy)
Natuur & Milieu (Netherlands)
Plastic Soup Surfer (Netherlands)
Recycling Netwerk Benelux (Netherlands / Belgium)
Sciaena (Portugal)
Zero (Portugal)
Ekologi brez meja (Slovenia)
Alianza Residuo Cero (Spain)
Asoc Retorna (Spain)
Recircula (Spain)
Save the Med (Spain)
Break Free From Plastic Europe
Changing Markets
Seas at Risk
Zero Waste Europe


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