Glass is a success story for Europeans and for European recycling rates. Almost 8 out of 10 glass bottles put on the European market are already collected for recycling around Europe – a figure that should reach 90% by the end of the decade.
Ten EU member states are planning to switch to deposit schemes for beverage container recycling in order to meet new Green Deal requirements. Germany has 20 years of experiencing in operating the world’s largest such scheme.
The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive sets a 90% separate collection target for plastic beverage bottles by 2029. Policymakers are debating whether deposit return schemes (DRS) can be the solution to achieve this target.
Two of recycling’s main tools are used to varying degrees across Europe and now the industry and member states are considering how best to leverage them and help create what has been touted as the "internal market for recycling".
Collecting and recycling waste is more important than ever, since EU targets ask more and more from member states. But national capitals face a dilemma about how best to recycle more, as two distinct schemes offer two very different solutions.
European Union members will have to recycle at least 70% of packaging by 2030, under new rules brokered earlier this year. But there are complex mechanisms behind the recycling curtain and not all countries are ready yet to keep up with the pace.