Recycling machines will soon be placed in front of stores. This is the only way to get back PLN 0.50 per bottle

Recycling machines will soon be placed in front of stores.  This is the only way to get back PLN 0.50 per bottle

From next year, an additional fee will be added to the price of drinks in plastic bottles. It will be returned to the customer when he returns the bottle in a special device. Soon, such machines will be placed next to stores, and over time, perhaps also in other places. The experience of countries that have already introduced a deposit system proves that the success of the system is determined by the amount of the deposit and the convenience of return.

A deposit system will be launched in Poland at the beginning of next year. It will involve paying a small deposit when purchasing a drink in a plastic bottle, a reusable glass bottle and a can, and getting it back when returning it to a collection point. For the system to operate effectively, it requires the preparation of well-designed infrastructure, i.e. collection points. Therefore, K+Research by Insight Lab, commissioned by TOMRA Collection, asked Poles how often they want to return packaging.

Recycling with your weekly shopping

Respondents hope that returning used packaging will be easy and can be done while shopping.

42 percent survey participants declared that they planned to return packaging to stores regularly, at least once a week. A slightly smaller group of respondents, 31%, would prefer to donate them more often, several times a week. These results are related to the preference for where to return packaging. 34 percent study participants declared that they would choose the store where they do most of their grocery shopping. Other preferred conditions are the proximity of the store to their home (29%) or the presence of a recycler (26%).

Poles would like to have bottle return devices at hand where they most often shop, i.e. in discount stores (this was indicated by 76 percent of respondents). Next came a hypermarket, supermarket or small local store (33%, 32% and 31% respectively).

We will appreciate the efficiency of recycling equipment

The choice of a store where Poles are more likely to go shopping will be influenced by an additional argument, i.e. the possibility of convenient and hassle-free return of empty recyclable packaging. In the case of stores that choose automatic collection, i.e. recycling machines, research participants will expect primarily the efficiency of these devices (60%) and the option of returning various types of packaging at the same time (50%), i.e. disposable PET bottles, cans and returnable glass bottles.

The mandatory returns system will become operational in a few months, but those interested can test it today. Machines (“recycling machines”) were placed in front of some Biedronka and Lidl stores.

In an interview with Zielona Interia, Aleksandra Robaszkiewicz from Lidl Polska explained that the purpose of gradually introducing these machines to subsequent stores in Poland is to test the deposit system. Customers can return plastic bottles to these machines and in return receive a discount coupon that can be used on subsequent purchases.

How much can you earn for returning bottles?

– The aim of the test is to learn about the deposit system from the operational side. First of all, we want to check the operation of machines, the demand for space in the store, the logistics of waste collection, IT solutions, as well as the time and scope of store reconstruction and recycle machine service, said Aleksandra Robaszkiewicz.

In return for each bottle returned to such a “bottle machine”, the customer can count on a 5 cents discount, which will be deducted from his/her shopping bill. As you can easily calculate, to receive a discount of PLN 5, you would need to place exactly 100 bottles in such a machine. In the future, this rate is to be increased, and for now the program of introducing “bottle machines” to the stores of popular chains is of a pilot nature.

Deposit system – what will it involve?

From next year, all stores with an area of ​​more than 200 square meters will be obliged to accept used bottles and cans. The deposit system will cover plastic bottles with a capacity of up to 3 l, glass bottles up to 1.5 l and metal cans up to 1 l. To encourage customers to return empty bottles , the legislator ordered stores to increase the prices of drinks in such packaging by 50 cents. The customer will get the money back when he returns the bottle or can to a collection point.

Two things will determine the success of the system: the amount of the deposit and the convenience of return. This is the experience of other countries. Therefore, so that Poles do not feel that the state is “robbing them”, but want to return bottles with the belief that it is good for the environment, recycling machines must be easily available. Giving away the bottles cannot require a special trip, because then many people will wave their hand and decide that it is a waste of their time and gasoline, so the bottles will end up in the garbage container anyway. Over time, recycling machines should be located not only near shops, but also near schools, in parks, on busy streets – i.e. everywhere where people hang out and drink drinks.

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