A proposed mandatory deposit return scheme for plastic bottles should be scrapped altogether, French local representatives say, rejecting suggestions by EU member states to exempt countries that already achieve a high collection rate for plastic packaging.

Environmental groups, for their part, note that returnable plastic bottles cannot be reused due to hygiene regulations. As a result, they would therefore be sent directly for recycling instead of reuse, explained the NGO Zero Waste France. The plastics industry, on the other hand, argues that recycling is a system that works well and should be preserved.

From an economic standpoint, a deposit scheme for plastic bottles could even lead to a loss of revenue for local authorities. In France, Citeo, a not-for-profit company specialising in recycling, currently collects a fee from beverage companies for each packaged product placed on the market. The fee is then partly redistributed to local authorities to cover up to three-quarters of the gross costs of collecting, sorting and processing household packaging.

Source: Euractiv

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