Romania’s plastic waste recycling rate stands at 45 percent, higher than the EU’s average rate of 42 percent, and better than Austria, France, and Hungary, which have average rates of about 30 percent.
Alin Vişan, president of the Romanian Association for Packaging and Environment (ARAM), said the results were driven by a PET collection target set at 50% several years ago when the EU target was 22.5%, Agerpres.ro reported.
He criticized the government’s decision to introduce a deposit-refund system for unusable primary packaging. The government set a guarantee of RON 0.5 for beverage packaging for consumers.
Romania has started the introduction of a deposit system
Vişan underlined that only a quarter of the packaging that currently reaches landfills would be included in the deposit system. The authorities must take care of the rest of the packaging on the market, he insisted.
The good results in recycling, in his words, demonstrate the packaging industry has done an excellent job. It is not fair to penalize it with this expensive deposit system, Vişan claimed.
ARAM gathers manufacturers and importers of packaging and packaged products.
Deposit system infrastructure to be ready in a year
The deposit system is planned to be introduced for primary packaging between 0.1 liters and 3 liters – made of glass, plastic or metal – for beer, alcoholic beverages, cider, other fermented beverages, juices, nectars, soft drinks, water and wine.
The packaging returned to stores will be transferred to regional centers and over to recyclers. In-store waste collection infrastructure will be organized by a single system operator, a non-profit entity with representatives of producers, traders, and the Romanian state.
The entire infrastructure is planned to be completed by October 2022.